Nigerian Government approves N4billion to fund Book development

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The Nigerian government has approved the sum of N4billion Book Development Fund to revive Academic Publishing in Tertiary institutions.

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFund , Suleiman Bogoro, made this known at the third Inaugural ceremony of the Technical Advisory Group on Book Development Fund in Abuja.

Bogoro who identified paucity of indigenous textbooks from the higher Institutions acknowledged that foreign books are helpful to expand opportunities for Nigerian writers.

According to him, “It is equally worrisome that quality of most academic publications in Nigeria leaves much to be desired. It is expected that nurturing the culture of quality authorship and production of indigenous books will ensure availability of recent books and safeguard national pride”.

It is true that foreign books are helpful but an indigenous book industry is needed to provide opportunities for the Nation’s writers, thinkers and artists,” he added.”

Prof. Bogoro added that the gross insufficiency of standard tertiary level literature in libraries and bookshops underscored the urgent need for targeted strategies to encourage indigenous authorship of textbooks for tertiary institutions.

A seed grant of N2 billion was approved by the Board of Trustees for the Book Development Fund which is being utilized centrally for development of manuscripts and textbooks”.

Subsequently, an additional sum of N2.980 billion was added to the seed grant which is making it N4, 980,000,000.00 out of which N2, 589,438,751.03 has been utilized for the intended purpose.

“The Book Development Fund intervenes in three interrelated areas namely: Development and Publication of Academic Books as well as conversion of high quality thesis into book”

The TETFund boss hinted that there is ongoing construction of seven Academic Publishing Centres ,one in each University in of the six geo-political zones and Federal Capital Territory with the aim of reviving quality academic publishing in Tertiary institutions.

Bogoro added that the centers are to be fully equipped and staffed to provide all necessary pre-press support for the production of quality manuscripts and conversions of manuscripts into books.

Out of the seven APCs that have been established across six geo-political zones and FCT, four centers are completed and commissioned.

Others centers are at the various stages of completion and they are to be completed and commissioned by the end of 2019″.

We are expecting the inaugurated Technical Advisory Group to advise the Fund on the sustainability of Academic Publishing Centres, institutional arrangements for their management among other guidelines,” he said.

He tasked the committee to review strategies to harvest and publication of high quality Tertiary level texts specifically in Tertiary Institutions.

Bogoro added that the expectation of the Fund is to assist senior academics to produce exceptional quality manuscripts for the Academia and serve as mentors to young ones.

“The committee inaugurated comprises of eminent and a wide range of professionals drawn from within the Academia and relevant stakeholders.

We are very confident that given the quality range of expertise and experience of its members, the Higher Education Book Development programme will record a remarkable success,” he said.

Responding the chairman of the committee, Prof. Charles Aworh, said it was an opportunity to serve in the group ,he pledged the loyalty and commitment of the committee members to discharge their responsibility .

The Technical Advisory Group was created in 2010 by TETFund to restore the culture of research and high quality academic publishing within Nigerian higher education sub-sector.

Ime Njoku