Senate probes TETFund contractors over abandoned projects

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has resolved to probe contractors who collected money from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), without performing such contracts.

It said this was in strict compliance with the recent pronouncement of the Senate President to expose corrupt practices and bring culprits to justice.

The Senate’s resolution, which came at the resumed plenary on Wednesday, also mandated its Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund to ensure a thorough investigation of the alleged contract fraud and report back its findings and recommendations for further action.

The resolution followed a motion, entitled: “The need for an investigative audit in respect of contracts that were awarded and paid for in the past TETFund but are yet to be executed”, sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau, who also chairs the committee on TETFund.

Leading debate on the motion, Senator Barau noted that “in the past years, the Tertiary Institutions Intervention Fund, TETFund has had to award numerous contracts for the benefits of several higher institutions across the country in keeping with the statute that established the agency”.

He also observed that “these contracts were meant for projects spread across various levels of tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education etc, deemed as urgently needed to improve on the quality of teaching, learning and research in the institutions.”

Senator Barau further noted that in spite of the good intention of TETFund in awarding the contracts, some of the contractors, who are yet to be identified, allegedly collected the project money and walked away without executing the contracts.

He added that the senate was “conscious of the existing deficit in the infrastructural needs of all tertiary institutions in the country, and the allegations that some contractors that were awarded contracts by TETFund have absconded with monies given to them for the contracts without executing the jobs.”

Meanwhile, the Senate also on Wednesday, passed the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Civil Service Commission Bill, 2017, and the FCT Water Board (Establishment) Bill, 2017.

Both bills were sent from the House of Representatives for concurrence by the red chamber.