The Nigerian Senate has resolved to probe the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, after it alleged procurement fraud at the federal body, which is the country’s intervention agency for managing and disbursing education tax to public tertiary schools.
The resolution followed a motion by Jibrin Barau, APC-Kano, who sought an “investigative audit” of the contracts by awarded by TETFund in the past years.
Mr. Jibrin said that contracts for projects to enhance quality of teaching, research and infrastructure in tertiary schools were awarded to contractors, some of whom “allegedly collected project monies and walked away without executing the contracts.”
Such allegedly fraudulent contractors were “yet to be identified,” he said.
There are indications some of officers of the Senate already know the suspected culprits and are actually on a specific-target mission.
The last “grass-cutting” which led to the fall of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, started this way last year.
Mr. Jibrin lamented the deficits in the infrastructural needs of the tertiary institutions, worsened by circumstances of absconding with funds for projects.
He said a probe was imperative, given the recent pronouncement of the senate president towards the renewed commitment of the Senate to exposing corrupt practices in all facets of the Nigerian society and bringing culprits to justice.
In his remark after the motion was adopted, Senate President Bukola Saraki said it was important to probe so as to know the culpable companies and get them to be handled by the anti-graft agencies.
TETFund was established in 2011 and gains its funding from 2 per cent of the assessable profits of all the registered companies in the country.
It is currently being headed by Abdullahi Baffa, who was appointed in August 2016. Before now, it had been headed by Mahmood Yakubu, current INEC chairman; Aliyu Naiya; and Suleiman Bogoro.