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TETFund: Echono’s Journey of Excellence, Sacrifice, Hard Work, and Transparency

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TETFund: Echono’s Journey of Excellence, Sacrifice, Hard Work, and Transparency

Research and innovation are remedies to address the challenges of underdevelopment bedeviling the nation, adding that they are the most compelling strategy for accelerating sustainable growth. Echono

By Hannatu D. L.

Echono’s journey so far stands as an inspiration to all patriotic Nigerians, civil servants, aspiring architects, and individuals striving for excellence. His dedication for service, continuous learning, and unwavering commitment to progress paint a picture of an excellent visionary leader whose impact will be felt for generations to come.

He has a pedigree of excellence, unassuming simplicity, covering a stupendous database of essential knowledge, backed by a penchant for sacrifice, and a steadfast commitment and dedication to achieve set goals as well as core loyalty to procedural ethics, and a spirit of fairness are all what the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono brought on board in TETFund.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

It’s invigorating, and refreshing to know that Nigerians are expressing satisfaction and have highly commended the current Management of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), ably led by the Executive Secretary, Arc. Sonny Echono,

Citizens have reaffirmed a vote of confidence on Arc. Sonny Echono and the present management of TETFund. Such a vote of confidence from the public demonstrate that the TETFund’s management has been effective in steering the organisation towards success. Such support from the public signifies a recognition of the efforts made to enhance the efficiency of educational sector which in turn contribute positively to the Nigerian economy.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

Echono hits the ground running after taking the helms of affairs as the Executive Secretay of TETFund, as he embarked on a holistic and unbroken reforms that are already paying off, to reduce reckless and extravagant spending as well as bogus programs that had no positive impact or multiplier effects on the running of both the Organisation and tertiary institutions in Nigeria

A reformer to the core, his ascension to the TETFund leadership, was another opportunity for him to showcase the practicality and instrumentality of transparency and accountability in delivering excellent results. And so far, he has not disappointed. With in-debt experience in civil service and administrative positions, Arc. Sonny Echono’s obsession with exceptional service delivery has never been in doubt

His appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari broke the old norms of skewed factors of ethnicity and religious sentiment that usually greets appointments in Nigeria

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

The Federal Government of Nigeria established the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in 2011 to disburse, manage, and monitor education tax to public tertiary institutions in Nigeria

TETFund has been the lifeline of Tertiary Education in Nigeria as its intervention projects all over the federal and sate owned institutions in the country, stands out as the most impactful and successful projects in the universities, polytechnic and colleges of education.

TETFund is an essential part of Nigeria’s education sector, whose success is highly dependent on a robust, transparent and accountable system that ensures resources are appropriately allocated towards achieving public service delivery in the education sector

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

The immense fecundity of fresh ideas, vision and drive the TETFund boss has brought to redefine and redirect the intervention processes and programs, to make a profound impact on our tertiary institutions.

Among others, the reforms include the curriculum review, skills acquisitions, research, innoation, human capacity development, entrepreneurship and advancement of Information and Communication Technology that are  consistently pushed to reposition the fund.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

Although Echono’s journey is not without distractions and sabotage which he seems to be surfing through, ridding over wave upon wave of malicious attempts.

Echono, coming from a very discipline schedule of due process in procurement, has been up to the task of safe guarding the integrity of TETFund as we know it

He knows all the nooks and crannies that corruption has been seeking refuge in trying to degrade a fund that has been the saving grace of tertiary education in Nigeria

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

He was born on the 16th of December, 1962 at Otukpo, Benue State. He had his early education at St. Mary’s Primary School, Otukpo before proceeding to Jos, Plateau State. He complete his primary and secondary education at St. Theresa’s and St. Muramba’s College respectively, after which he enrolled at the Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology (MUCAST), Makurdi for his ‘A’ Levels/IJMB. He was admitted to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1980 to study Architecture and graduated with a BSc. (2nd Class Upper) in 1983 and an MSc. in 1985.
Read Also: TETFund To Construct 36 Hostels in Tertiary Institutions Accross the Country Plus Free…

After his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1986, Echono had a brief stint with the Benue State Housing Agency before joining the Federal Civil Service in January,1987.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

Within the said period, he served in various management capacities at the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing including, Secretary, Implementation Committee on National Housing Policy – 1991 to 1995; Secretary, Special Projects Task Force – 1992 to 1995; Secretary, Committee on Lands and Housing – 1993 to 1995; Chief Executive Architect in charge of Administration of the Department – 1993 to 1994; Special Assistant to Permanent Secretary – 1994 to 1999; Head, Council Affairs and Parastatals – 2003 to 2004; Secretary, Ministerial Tenders Board – 2004 to 2005.

With the advent of procurement reforms in Nigeria, Echono was among the first set of civil servants deployed to the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU) or Due Process Office in February, 2015.

Ododo Seeks for more TETFund's Support for Tertiary Institutions in Kogi

In 2016, he was appointed Head of Team ‘A’ with responsibility for procurement review and certification of projects for Ministries of Works and Housing, FCT Administration, Transport, State House, Defence, Police and all the Security Agencies.

His quest for personal development has seen him acquire the following additional qualifications while in Service: Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) – University of Calabar – 2002; Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Benue State University – 2004; MSc, Procurement Management – University of Turin, Italy – 2011.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

Echono put in nearly 35 years of exemplary service at the epicenter of Policy Formulation and Reforms in the Nigerian Civil Service and its numerous agencies.

He was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service in October 2014. He later served as Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (2014 – 2015), Federal Ministry of Communications (2015- 2017), and Federal Ministry of Education (2017 to 2022).

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

However, prior to his appointment as Permanent Secretary in October 2014, Echono served as Director of Procurement in five (5) key Ministries namely – Defence, Water Resources, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Power.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

His service to the profession of Architecture in Nigeria is equally impressive. From being Secretary of the Admissions Committee in 1991, he rose to the position of Honourary General Secretary (HGS) in November 2001. He chaired the Disciplinary Committee of the Institute for two successive terms from 2009 to 2013, when he was elected to the position of the 3rd Vice President.

He attained the pinnacle of the profession when he was elected president, Nigerian Institute of Architects in November 2019.

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He also served on several Boards and Councils including – Board of Architectural Education in Nigeria (BAE), Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCN), National Environmental Standards, Regulations, Enforcement and Administration (NESREA), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and TETFund.

The TETFund boss attended several management courses and workshops at top institutions across the globe including: University of Bradford UK; Oxford University UK; University of Cambridge UK; Japan International Cooperation Agency; Japan Institute of Development Studies; Indonesia International Law Institute; American Institute of Peace and Harvard Business School, USA.

ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Founding Member and Trustee of the Procurement Professionals Association of Nigeria.

The technocrat is a recipient of several awards of excellence and commendation by the Federal Government as well as Professional and Management Institutions. He is widely traveled and has presented over 40 papers at national and international fora.

From stakeholders to beneficiary institutions, down to students across all the tertiary education spectrum, the story is the same ‘Echono is a result oriented Chief Executive’

Under the watch of Arc. Sonny S. T. Echono, the Fund has seen better days and progressive with its quintessential and stellar performance. A peep into some of the reforms he embarked on in TETFund:

TETFund and IFC Partner to Support Nigerian Tertiary Institutions to Strengthen Gtaduate Employability

The Tertiary Trust Fund (TETFund) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have partnered to support beneficiary Institutions in Employability Benchmarking Programme, aimed at enhancing graduate employability and initiative will directly benefit 99 beneficiary institutions across Nigeria.

The program’s roll out commenced with an implementation support workshop for 250 educational leaders from the academia, private sector, and government regulatory bodies in Abuja on October 4 and 5.

TETFund To Construct 36 Hostels in Tertiary Institutions Accross the Country Plus Free Access to Data,Wifi, Internet on Campuses

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has announced that this year it has concluded plans to provide 36 hostels in tertiary institutions campuses across the country.

Echono also disclosed that the Fund is working on providing free internet, wifi access for students in both public and private tertiary institutions across the country.

TETFUND: ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

TETFund Set up and Inaugurates 3 Ad hoc Committees to Enhance Skills Development

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has inaugurated three ad hoc committees with the task of up-scaling skills development in the country as well as strengthening the Fund’s intervention activities towards the delivery of its mandate.

The Committee includes: Committee on operationalization of equipment upgrade in workshops and laboratories for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education (technical), chaired by Prof. Hayward Babale, Committee on assessment/review of TETFund centres of excellence, chaired by Prof. Oyewale Tomori and Committee on operationalization of skills development special intervention, chaired by Prof. Idris Bugaje.

TETFund: Echono's Journey of Excellence, Sacrifice, Hard Work, and Transparency

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has unveiled a digital services platform for tertiary institutions.

The platform is called Tertiary Education Research, Applications, and Services (TERAS).

TERAS comprises IT infrastructure and services offering computing, storage, and networking to participating institutions.

The platform is also meant to support the publication and learning needs of students through institutional libraries.

TETFUND: ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

TETFund to deploy blackboard learning system to institutions

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) said over two million students and staff of higher education institutions in the country will soon have massive access to online  academic resources through the deployment of Blackboard learning platform.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mr Sonny Echono, made this known at the flag-off of a three-day workshop on “The Implementation of the Enhanced Blackboard Learning Management System and Train The Trainer Programme” Monday in Abuja. 

TETFAIR :TETFund, Innov8 Hub Engage Scholars To Boost Research

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) 2022 Alliance for Innovative Research for Nigerian Researchers (TETFAIR) has engaged about 66 participants to intensified efforts toward solution-driven research and development in the country.

TETFUND: ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

The TETFAIR programme is being conducted by TETFund in collaboration with Innov8 Technology Hub, a firm championing the advancement of Science and Technology Education in Nigeria.

TETFUND: ECHONO’S JOURNEY OF EXCELLENCE, SACRIFICE, HARD WORK, AND TRANSPERANCY

TETFund Executive Secretary, Architect Sonny Echono, posited that the Agency’s decision to institutionalise research and innovation in the nation’s tertiary education space, was borne out of the need to address the multifaceted problems facing Nigeria.

He said TETFAIR is called to support national yearnings in “Agriculture and Food Technology, Environment, Energy & Sustainable Economy, Health and Accessibility, Information Communication Technology, Security, Transportation, Aviation & Shipping, and Streamlining/Enhancing Production Processes”

In the words of Vice Chancellor Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue State, Professor Richard Anande Kimbir, ”Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) under the leadership of Architect Sonny Echono as strategic, focused, unassuming and productive for every stakeholder in the Nigerian project.

According to him, “We can boldly attest that president Buhari appointed an overseer of educational agency who is always thinking on his feet and whose commitment are sincere pursuits of the overall good of the nation.

TETFund: Echono's Journey of Excellence, Sacrifice, Hard Work, and Transparency

“For those who have been following the strides of operational works of TETFund in recent times, concise and determined efforts have been going on in repositioning and building the agency as the Hub intervention of tertiary education in Nigeria.

This bold performance demonstrated by the Executive secretary is undoubtedly a positive sign for the Nigerian educational reform, as it signifies efficient management utilization and built confidence of tax payers in revenue generation. It also indicates accountability and transparency in handling public funds, which are essential aspects of good governance.

While maintaining the confidence and support of the Nigerian people, it will be crucial for the Executive Secretary, Arc. Sonny Echono,and TETFUND to continue demonstrating transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in managing funds and implementing projects. Ensuring that funds are used judiciously and that the impact of the investments is well-documented as that will help build trust and further strengthen TETFUND’s reputation as a significant contributor to the development of Nigeria’s tertiary education system and also because the successful performance of public institutions like TETFUND is vital for national development.


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