The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, has decried the dwindling reading and publishing culture in Nigeria.
Bogoro spoke on Thursday at the University of Calabar in Cross River State during the commissioning of a N330m ultra-modern Academic Publishing Centre in the institution.
He said, “It became necessary for TETFund to provide funds for the establishment of Academic Publishing Centres in the six geopolitical zones in the country to stem the diminishing publishing and reading culture in the country.
“I feel ashamed as a professor to see garbage literature being sold by vendors all over the place. This is unacceptable. That is why the publishing centres are being established. We have to ensure standards in our universities. Since 2011, TETFund has been insisting on the provision of infrastructure in universities. We will not commission this project and abandon it. We will continue to fund it.”
Bogoro, who disclosed that the UNICAL centre was the third he was commissioning, said that if tertiary institutions failed to make use of the funds allocated for projects, they would lose the funds after nine months. He added that the implementation procedure had to be re-jigged to fast track project implementation.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. Zana Akpagu, said, “The project is a game changer for us. It is timely and appropriate. Through the centre, there will be high quality work and dissemination of research findings.”
He thanked the executive secretary for choosing the university to establish the centre in the South-South zone, adding that the institution would keep to the guidelines of TETFund and maximise the funds made available for projects.”
Our correspondent gathered that peer-reviewed academic journals, reference books and research monographs will be published at the centre, which has facilities for exhibition, internal finishing, e-publishing, control room, editorial, graphics, trade unit, e-library, archives, control room, infotech, etc.