The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND has approved the sum of N213 billion to 40 federal universities, 34 state universities, 55 colleges of Education and 54 public Polytechnics in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Mr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi made these known at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday. Mr. Baffa said each of the 54 public polytechnics would receive N691.632 million as against N427 million in 2015.
He said each of the 40 federal universities and 34 state universities will receive N1.94 billion. Mr. Baffa added that each of the 55 colleges of education would receive N679 million.
He said this was the biggest annual disbursement given to any beneficiary institution since the establishment of TETFund.
According to him, the trust fund disbursed this year ”shows more than three times what was allocated in the previous year.”
He said that in a bid to ensure that institutions were manned by scholars that have terminal degrees, the trust fund had placed a high premium for them to have scholarships to study for higher degrees.
“That is 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,” stated Mr. Baffa.
He said the trust fund would ensure it monitored the allocation disbursed to each institutions to ensure the funds were judiciously utilised.
“I make bold to say that TETFund will be all-eyes and all-ears in monitoring the judicious utilization of the allocation by all institutions,” he said.
Mr. Baffa expressed the fund’s determination to address challenges associated with assessing intervention funds by institutions in the country.
The official stated that the fund had been abused in the last couple of years.
“We felt that we should look at some challenges we are facing as a fund. All of us are victims as well as culprits. We are still battling with people who are parading themselves as vendors trying to buy, sell and deal with allocation letters,” he said.
Mr. Baffa added that the allocation of 2015 was the least in the last five to six years because of abuse.
Mr. Baffa noted that all institutions must be treated equally irrespective of size and location, adding that this was the surest way of ensuring the fund returned to its paths of pursuing its mandate.
He said TETFund was the sure tool needed to help the institutions get out of the present state of “inadequate staff, paucity of funds, dilapidation and poor quality of graduates”.
He noted that polytechnics in the country were not producing skilled and qualified artisans, saying manpower was still sourced from outside the country.
Mr. Baffa said that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the fund to check and provide the polytechnics with needed intervention to support the provision of equipment for laboratories, research and training, the time for the defence of the Proposal for the allocation will be made known to the head of various head of the institutions.