Nigerian govt approves N208 billion for public tertiary institutions

TETFUND
TETFUND

The federal government has approved N208 billion as the 2019 intervention funds for public higher institutions across the country.

The reinstated TETFund Executive Secretary, Suleiman Bogoro, made this known at the annual meeting with the heads of TETFund beneficiary institutions in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Mr Bogoro, the annual direct disbursement of N826.6 million was allocated to each university while N566.7 million was allocated to each polytechnic and N542. 2 million to each College of Education in Nigeria.

Nigeria has 43 federal universities and 48 state universities.

Mr Bogoro said most of the structure in Nigeria institution are from TETfund interventions.

“Education intervention has been consistent despite the fall in oil price. We spent nearly one hour with the board discussing this issue of expanded, everyday increasing number of beneficiary institutions so much so that application of the funds are being whittled and so the impact is reducing day by day,” he said.

Mr Bogoro expressed concerns over the growing number of public tertiary institutions and their effect on the application of funds provided.

“18 institutions across the six geopolitical zones are beneficiaries of the Special High Impact Intervention. Six Universities, six polytechnics and six Colleges of Education received N1 billion each,” he said.

Mr Bogoro said the organisation has fallen in the standard of their scholarship scheme and the issues of stranded scholars have been revisited.

“Pivotal payment has commenced for stranded TETfund stranded scholars. We even told the head of institutions that we might not release any fund until we sort the stranded scholars and since we started about three months ago, the number has risen to 400,” he said.

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Mr Bogoro also urged desk officers to stop making demands from scholars in the institutions.

He also frowned at institutions who divert funds meant for a particular purpose while advising against poor quality of project delivery.

Speaking on the N200 allegation which led to his suspension in 2015, Mr Bogoro said President Buhari has investigated the allegation and vindicated him.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how TETfund disbursed N134 billion to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education as intervention funds in 2018. The funds allocated to tertiary schools nearly doubled the N69 billion it disbursed in 2017.

NUC speaks

Also speaking at the event, the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, said there are more benefitting institutions in 2019 than previous years because more state and federal institutions being created.

Mr Rasheed, who is also the acting chairman of TETfund Board of Trustee said, there is a need for more efficient administration of funds.

He urged all the heads of institutions to work with transparency and openness in mind.

“We hate a situation again, as we have seen in this assessment, where sometimes a Vice-Chancellor will not send a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Registrar or Bursar or any other principal officer even director of works or procurement, but will send his personal assistant to be the one handling the TETfund issues or needs assessment issues. Such transactions will not be tolerated”, he said.

TETFund was established (originally as Education Trust Fund (ETF) by the Act No 7 of 1993 as amended by Act No 40 of 1998 (now repealed and replaced with Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act 2011) as an intervention agency to provide supplementary support to all levels of public tertiary institutions.

The main source of income for the Fund is the two per cent education tax paid from the assessable profit of companies registered in Nigeria.

The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) collects the tax on behalf of the Fund.

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