LAFIA – Dr Mohammed Salihu, the Provost, Nasarawa State College of Agriculture on Thursday called for the urgent review of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to include the Colleges of Agriculture as beneficiaries.
Salihu, who made this call in Lafia during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), decried the exclusion of colleges of Agriculture as beneficiaries of the fund.
He said that more priority should be given to the agriculture sector in order to enhance food production, which according to him was essential tool for national and economy development.
He said as long as the Colleges of Agriculture were not properly funded and excluded from Tetfund, the challenges facing the colleges
“Tetfund was established by an act of the National Assembly in June 2011.
“It is a national research fund for the resuscitation of research activities in Nigeria’s public tertiary institutions.
“The Colleges of Agriculture is saddled with the responsibility of training the future agriculturalists to become better farmers but lack of proper funding has been a major challenge.
“All the State and Federal Colleges of Agriculture are excluded from this gesture; how do you expect these potential farmers to compete with international world tomorrow?’’ he asked.
The provost called for equal treatment of the Colleges of Agriculture with the polytechnics and Colleges of Education who are currently benefiting from the fund.
According to him, they are all awarding Diploma and Higher National Diploma certificates.
Salihu, however, faulted the e-wallet fertilizer distribution programme to the farmers across the country by the Federal Government.
The provost advised the Federal Government to make modern farming techniques available to farmers at subsided rate.
“The Federal Government claimed that 50 per cent of the farmers benefited from dry season fertilizer distribution while the distribution went to the wrong hands.
“We are asking the government to put the plight of small farmers and young aspiring farmers into consideration in order to boost food production and agriculture sector in the country,’’ he said.
He also encouraged youths to see agricultural practice as the best option of better livelihood, saying it should not be seen as punishment or job for rural dwellers. (NAN)
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