FG approves N208bn for public tertiary institutions – Independent Observers

FG approves N208bn for public tertiary institutions

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By Temitope Owotoki

The Federal Government has approved N208 billion as the 2019 intervention funds for public institutions across the country.

Professor Suleiman Bogoro, the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund), disclosed this at annual meeting with officials of TETFund and beneficiary institutions in Abuja on Thursday.

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

 He also said most of the structures in Nigerian institution are built 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 increasing number of beneficiary institutions so much so that application of the funds are being whittled (down) and so the impact is reducing day by day,” he said.

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

“Eighteen 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.

The TETFund Scribe said the issues of declining standards in scholarship schemes and stranded scholars have been revisited.

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

Bogoro frowned at institutions who divert funds meant for programmes.

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

At the event, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, said there are more beneficiary institutions in 2019 than previous years.

He said this is because more state and federal institutions have been created.

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

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

“We hate a situation, 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.

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