The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has funded the publication of 10 new textbooks written by Nigerian academics to address over-dependence on foreign publications in tertiary institutions.
According to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu who spoke during the public presentation of the books in Abuja on Tuesday, the reliance on foreign academic publications possess a great threat to the Nigeria’s education sector.
Mr Adamu who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, said that increasing indigenous authorship would also tackle the problem.
“The paucity of indigenously authored and produced tertiary level textbooks and related academic publications in the nation’s tertiary education institutions is a known fact overtime.
“Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions became dependent on books published outside the country with the attendant consequences of pressure on the demand for foreign exchange.
“It is equally worrisome that the quality of most academic publications in our country leaves much to be desired.
“It is therefore expected that nurturing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will not only ensure the availability of relevant books in the diverse subject areas.
“It will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange,” he said.
He applauded TETFund for inaugurating the Higher Education Book Development project to address dearth of tertiary level textbooks which had entered a crisis proportion.
Mr Adamu convinced that an additional 30 books would be introduced before the end of 2022 under TETFund sponsorship programme.
He added that over 60 per cent of these books are to be published by the Academic Publishing Centres, APCs, established by TETFund.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono expressed joy over the quality of the books and assured of the willingness of the Fund to sponsor the production of 50 textbooks in 2023.
“We have over 66 manuscripts, what we are unveiling today were published by only one publisher.
“By the time we unveil the remaining 30 in December, you are going to see all the authors which cut across the three layers of our tertiary education institutions,” he said.
Also, Mr Echono disclosed that the Fund had provided support to ensure that all the Academic Publishing Centres in the country became fully operational.
“There are seven of them across the country, when we came in March, only the University of Lagos Academic Publishing Centre was fully functional and running.
“A few of them had little issues, some equipment, others contractual issues, but we have resolved all of them now.
“Four have been completed in the last few months and the remaining we hope to finish by the end of September.
“The issue of operationalising them, making them self-sustaining is the debate we are having currently because we want them to run as a business enterprise and trying to create balance by focusing on academic publishing,” he stated.