Abuja — *How FG promises to end the dominance of foreign books in higher education institutions.

The Higher Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has sponsored the publication of ten books on various fields of study in the country’s universities.

TETFund Executive Secretary, Ark. Sonny Echono, at the presentation of books published by one publishing house, said that another 30 books sponsored by the Foundation will be presented by the end of 2022.

Echono also said that his organization is ready to sponsor the production of 50 textbooks in 2023.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who launched the books, promised that the Federal Government was working to end the dominance of foreign books in tertiary institutions across the country.

Adamu said the publication is part of government’s measures to achieve this objective.

According to him, the dependence on foreign scientific publications in higher education institutions poses a great danger to the country’s education sector, adding that increasing the authorship of indigenous peoples will solve this problem.

The minister said: “The lack of higher level textbooks created and produced by local people and related academic publications in higher education institutions of the country is a known fact over time. Institutions of higher learning in Nigeria have become dependent on books published outside the country, with consequent pressure on the demand for foreign exchange.’

Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nana Opiah, added: “It is equally worrying that the quality of most academic publications in our country leaves much to be desired. It is therefore expected that fostering a culture of quality authorship and indigenous book production will not only ensure the availability of relevant books in various subject areas that take into account our local environment and fragility, but will also preserve national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange.”

Commending the TETFund for the establishment of the Tertiary Education Book Development Project to address the shortage of tertiary level textbooks that had previously reached crisis, the Minister commended the Fund for establishing a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) whose mandate includes working collaboratively with the agency to ensure the quality of books by Nigerian authors.

“The TETFund book development fund intervenes in three key areas: the publication of scholarly books and the conversion of high-quality dissertations into books, the support of professional association journals, and the establishment and sustainability of academic publishing centers (APCs).

“It should be noted that so far seventy-seven manuscripts have passed a strict check by renowned scientists and are ready for publication in the form of books. I want to assure the participants of the meeting that another thirty books will be presented before the end of this year. under the TETFund sponsorship program.

“It is interesting to note that more than 60 percent of these books are planned to be published in academic publishing centers (APCs) established by TETFund,” the minister said.

Ark. Sonny Ahona expressed his admiration for the quality of the 10 books, said that another 30 books sponsored by the Foundation will be presented before the end of the year, but assured the readiness of the agency to sponsor the production of 50 textbooks in 2023.

“We have more than 66 manuscripts. What we present today has been published by only one publisher (one printing house) … .. , by the time we publish the remaining 30 in December, you will see all the authors cut across the three levels of our higher education institutions,” said Echono.

The head of TETFund also said that the Fund has provided support for all academic publishing centers in the country to start working in full.

“There are seven of them across the country, when we came in March, only the University of Lagos Academic Publishing Center was fully functional and working, some of them had minor problems, some equipment problems, other contractual problems, we have now resolved them all.

“Four have been completed in the last few months and we hope to finish the rest by the end of September. The issue of their commissioning and self-sustainability is a debate we are having now because we want them to operate as business ventures. and trying to create a balance by focusing on academic publications and being able to support themselves,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman, TETFund TAG, Prof. Charles Awor, said that 20 TETFund sponsored textbooks in various fields were published in 2014 and were widely accepted in the country and abroad, adding that three of the 10 new books, presented today, were from doctoral theses.