By Martin Paul in Abuja
The Federal Government has released the sum of N3,871,225,160 for the 2019 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention for public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education across the country.
Executive Secretary of the Fund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who announced the figure in Abuja at a meeting with vice-chancellors, rectors and provost of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, respectively, also lamented the rising number of tertiary institutions as beneficiaries of the fund’s intervention.
Bogoro said for the 2019 intervention year, each of university would receive N826, 684, 392 million, while each polytechnic would get N566, 701,842 and each college of education would go home with N542, 226, 346 million.
He disclosed that 18 institutions, made up of six universities, six polytechnics and six colleges of education, across the six geo-political zones, would benefit from the High Impact Intervention for year 2019.
The Executive Secretary also disclosed that between January and June this year, for the second and final tranches, the Fund has disbursed a total of N19, 977,522,916. 59 He warned against delay in project implementation, saying: “The TETFund seriously frowns at the diversion of funds meant for contractors to other unrelated expenditures and investment, thereby delaying project completion”.
Bogoro suggested the establishment of desk office in every beneficiary institutions to facilitate the process of project implementation, adding that investigations carried out by independent monitors, had revealed that some institutional officers sit on the funds meant for project implementation.
He emphasized that “all TETFund projects must comply with the Public Procurement Act 2007, stressing that deliberate infractions and omission had hindered projects implementations in the past.
“The Fund is planning to collaborate with the Bureau for Public Procurement officers on the rudiments of provision of the BPP Act”, Bogoro added.
He commended the outgoing Minister of Education, who put a proposal to the Federal Government to raise the two per cent tax on multi-national companies so as to raise the revenue accruing for intervention in view of the increasing number of institutions.
The acting chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Fund, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who is also the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), also lamented the number of institutions across the country demanding for TETFund interventions.
He said although the country desired many tertiary institutions, quality delivery should be the watch words, adding that attention should paid to establishment of more polytechnics and colleges of education to cater for students desirable of higher education in the country.
Stating that the number of beneficiaries from the 2019 intervention was the highest, Rasheed stated the need to reduce the number of beneficiaries.