Pascal Emeka, Abuja
The Federal Government on Tuesday moved to end the dominance of foreign publications in Nigeria’s higher education institutions as it unveiled ten new textbooks for the University system.
Speaking at the public presentation of the books in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the dependence on foreign academic publications portends great danger to the nation’s education sector.
Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nana Opiah, Adamu said boosting indigenous authorship would address the problem.
He said: “The paucity of indigenously authored and produced tertiary level textbooks and related academic publications in the nation’s tertiary education institutions is a known fact over time. Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions became dependent on books published outside the country with the attendant consequences of the 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 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 the diverse subject areas that take cognizance of our local environment and sensitivities but will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange.”
While commending TETFund for establishing the Higher Education Book Development project to tackle the scarcity of tertiary level textbooks of Nigerian origin, the minister hailed the Fund for putting in place the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) whose mandate includes collaboratively working with the agency to ensure quality books are churned out by Nigerian authors.
Also, speaking at the event the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono said additional 30 books sponsored by the Fund would be unveiled before the end of the year even as he assured of the readiness of the agency to sponsor the production of 50 textbooks in 2023.
“We have over 66 manuscripts; what we are unveiling today was published by only one publisher (one printing press), by the time we unveil the remaining 30 in December, you are going to see all the authors cut across the three layers of our tertiary education institutions, “Echono said.