The Vice-Chancellor Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola in Adamawa State, Professor Liman Tukur has said that the culture of academic partnership, research collaboration and publishing among tertiary institutions in general and the universities in particular, is fast gaining ground globally.
This was as he added that several institutions are rapidly intensifying and forging relationships and partnerships towards solving existing and emerging challenges. He disclosed this while welcoming the Board and management of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) on assessment visit to the Northern Zone Academic Publishing Centre (APC) at the university.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, cooperation and networking are valuable in sharing information on fresh approaches and resources, as well as in acquiring specialised and new expertise. Meanwhile, in his remarks, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of TETFund, Alhaji Kashim Kashim, recalled that as part of efforts to further boost the agency’s intervention programmes towards achieving desired results of improving teaching, learning and research, the BOT in 2009 introduced some admissible projects, including the Academic Publishing Centres.
“The intervention in the area of Higher Education Book Development was one of the projects admitted in consonance with the mandate of the agency,” he said, noting that the BOT proposed to the Federal Government to release the sum of N2 billion for the take-off of the project in 2009.
The Federal Government, according to Kashim, however, approved the recommendation which led to the establishment of the Book Development Committee instituted to actualise the project.
He said: “In 2019, an additional N2.95 billion was added, while the Technical Advisory Group Committee was reinvigorated and inaugurated in August 2019,” he added.
The BOT Chairman also pointed out that part of the primary objectives of the Higher Education Book Development Project, among others, was to design, construct and equip model Academic Publishing Centres (APCs) at some selected institutions across the six geo-political zones to serve as publishers of academic textbooks.
Kashim, therefore, reiterated that TETFund would continue to be at the forefront in promoting creative and innovative approaches to educational learning as well as championing new literacy enhancing areas.
On his part, TETFund Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, said that the visit was aimed at interacting and engaging the Heads and critical partners of the host or beneficiary institutions in the zones in order to create a road map for the operation, management and sustainability of the Academic Publishing Centres. Bogoro, who noted that overtime, publication of indigenous academic texts were done outside the shores of Nigeria, said: “Hence, we have our books being published in the United Kingdom, India, the U.S.A and others, with the attendant consequences of the pressure in the demand for foreign currency.”
He also pointed out that it was worrisome that the quality of most academic publications in the country leaves much to be denied, saying that “to this end, it is therefore expected that nurturing the culture of quality authorship and production of indigenous books would not only ensure the availability of relevant books in the diverse subject areas that take cognizance of our local environment and sensitivities, but also safeguard our national pride and reduce attendant problems of capital flight.”