Forex: FG moves to discourage foreign publications in tertiary institutions

Minister of Education Adamu Adamu

The federal government has moved to end the dominance of foreign publications in tertiary institutions in a bid to ameliorate the challenges of foreign exchange needed for purchases.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu unveiled 10 new indigenous textbooks sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

At the public presentation of the books in Abuja, Mr Adamu, said the dependence on foreign academic publications portends great danger to the nation’s education sector.

“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,” the minister said.

“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 diverse subject areas, it will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange,” he said.

He commended TETFund for establishing the Higher Education Book Development project to tackle the scarcity of tertiary level textbooks, which had reached a crisis.

The minister also praised the fund for putting in place the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), whose mandate included collaboratively working with the agency to ensure Nigerian authors churned out quality books.

“It is worthy of note that so far, 77 manuscripts have passed through rigorous review processes by distinguished scholars and are ready for publication as books,” he said.

Mr Adamu assured that an additional 30 books would be presented before the end of 2022 under TETFund sponsorship programme.

According to him, over 60 per cent of the books are to be published by the Academic Publishing Centres (APCs) established by TETFund.

Also speaking, the executive secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, who expressed delight over the quality of the books, assured of the readiness of the fund to sponsor the production of 50 textbooks in 2023.

Mr Echono also revealed that the fund had provided support to ensure that all the academic publishing centres in the country became fully operational.

Meanwhile, the chairman, TETFund TAG, Charles Aworh, said 20 TETFund-sponsored textbooks were published in 2014 in different fields with wide acceptance from within and outside the country.