The disbursement of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has begun amidst the ongoing strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU). The fund was approved by the Federal Government to public Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the country.
This year’s TETFund, which runs into several billions of Naira, are the intervention fund for higher Institution. Each beneficiary institution is to get:
- N642,848,138.00 for each University,
- N396,780,086.00 for each Polytechnic, and
- N447,758,804.00 for each College of Education
The allocation papers were given to the heads of the beneficiary institutions on Monday, at the National Universities Commission (NUC) by Arch Sunny Echono, who is the Executive Secretary of the Fund.
Echono said that the desire to develop human capital to service the various sectors of the Nigerian economy basically why the government needs to invest in the education sector.
According to him, the government is not unmindful of the deteriorating and decaying in the tertiary sub-sector, noting that it also informed the establishment of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND); which was initially referred to as the Education Tax Fund in 1993, but later metamorphosed into Tertiary Education Trust Fund in 2011.
He equally decried the instances of distressed or non performing projects, which he said was becoming rampant and disturbing.
He noted that the Fund had about seven nonperforming/distressed projects in the University of Port Harcourt, six in Enugu State University, Five in the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Four in Taraba State University in the University of Calabar, Four in Kaduna State University and One at Alvan koku College of Education.
“This phenomenon becomes even more worrisome when viewed alongside the problem of un-accessed funds We are mindful of the intricate variables in project management and delivery as well as the constraints created by our own internal policies and are ensuring that we review our processes where required but will also demand from beneficiary institutions accountability and sanctions where needed.
” I will in the coming weeks be engaging beneficiary institutions who have these serious problems with the view of bringing the projects to speedy completion and use.”
Please, note that TETFund’s mandate involves the utilization of initially 2 percent and now 2.5 percent Education Tax charged on assessable profit of all companies registered in Nigeria to improve the conditions and quality of the nation’s public tertiary institutions.
Echono, promised to boost the ICT capacity of the Fund in order to ensure seamless operations. He said;
“Upon assumption of office. I received briefings and presentations from all the departments of the Fund on the status of their various activities. This was to enable me to assess the level of progress and to see if there are issues that needed to be addressed urgently. One of our primary areas of focus is digital literacy and the development and deployment of information and communication technology (ICT), including ubiquitous broadband and data connectivity/access to our institutions to enhance our ICT capabilities.
“This informed my visit to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to discuss possibilities and collaboration on our interventions and other needs in our tertiary institutions presently, the ICT department has embarked on several projects that include; dematerialization and digitalization of thesis project 2 aggregations of electronic databases subscription project among other innovations”.