Nigeria approves N200bn for Tertiary Education Intervention Fund

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

Over two hundred Billion naira has been approved by the Nigerian government as Tertiary Education trust Fund Intervention Budget for the year 2017 Intervention activities.

The Executive Secretary of Tetfund, Dr Abdullahi Baffa made this known in Abuja at the end of a meeting with Tetfund Management and Benefitting Institutions.

Dr Baffa said with the approval each of the forty Federal Universities and thirty four State Universities will receive the sum one billion nine million four hundred and ten thousand Naira (N1,009,410,000.00) only, each of  the 54 public polytechnics get the sum of six hundred and ninety one million six hundred and thirty two thousand Naira (N691,632,000.00) while each of the 55 public colleges of education receive the sum of six hundred and seventy nine million fifty seven thousand Naira only (N679,057,000.00).

He added that this is the biggest ever annual direct disbursement (normal intervention) given to any beneficiary institution since the establishment of the Fund.

The Tetfund Boss explained that the fund is determined to accelerate the training and support for scholars in Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions while also to pursuing and acquiring doctorate degrees.

“Accelerate the process of bridging the teaching and learning infrastructure gap in all beneficiary institutions and
continue to support cutting edge research and innovation, that why academic staff training and development is allocated N300m for universities, N200m each for polytechnics and colleges of education as against N100m, N70m and N60m respectively, in 2015. While programme upgrade is allocated N565.41m for universities, N380.632m for polytechnics and N371.06m for colleges of education as against N100m, N70m and N72m respectively, in 2015”

Baffa added that Tetfund will ensure judicious utilisation of the allocations into all public higher institutions.

“Tetfund will be all eyes and all ears in mounting the judicious utilisation of the allocation by all institutions”

Speaking on the backlog of Unutilised Allocations, the Executive Secretary said institutions are not allowed to access a given intervention line until the previous year’s intervention is accessed, utilised and properly retired.

“As a part of the internal control mechanism of the Fund, institutions are not allowed to access a given intervention line until the previous year’s intervention is accessed, utilized and properly retired, Majority of beneficiary institutions have allocations from the previous year’s unutilised (un-accessed funds, the inability of institutions to access and utilise their allocation as at when due has always been a source of concern to the Fund as it impedes the realization of Fund’s mandate with the attendant consequence of slowing down the growth and progress of the institutions” he said.

Baffa stressed that as part of the funds commitment to ensuring that the 2016 intervention allocations are accessed and judiciously utilised by all beneficiary institutions, the Fund would be running an Access Clinic for beneficiary institutions with backlog of unutilised funds.

“The main objective of the clinic is to discuss, diagnose and proffer solutions to all encumbrances so as to get the institution fulfil the requirements to access. Some of the time, the reasons for backlog are around accounting for (retiring) previous allocation, rough transition from one administration to another, infringements by contractors, insufficient information, non-compliance with procurement “Baffa stated.

“With the Access Clinic, we believe that all institutions would be supported to clear any backlog of fund and comence the utilization of the 2016 allocation” he added.

On the Abuse of Special Intervention , The Tetfund Boss said the government while approving the 2016 intervention budget did not make provisions for special interventions due to its abuse in the past.

He added that in the 2017 intervention activities, no allocation was made for special interventions noting that it is in addition to the cancellation of the special allocations for projects that did not commence prior to August 2016.

” Beneficiary institutions are therefore urged to steer clear of fraudsters who are still going about looking for, or claiming to have gotten allocations for special interventions”

 

Nnenna.O