TETFUND to Spend N213.4bn On Intervention Projects In Public Tertiary Institutionseducation, Featured, Latest News, News Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to spend a total of N213,418,124,493.75 on intervention projects in tertiary institutions across the country this year.
Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr. A. B. Baffa, disclosed this at the end of the meeting of TETFund Management with all the provosts, rectors and vice chancellors of public colleges of education, public polytechnics and public universities, respectively, held in Abuja on Monday.
He explained that the 2016 intervention budget was made up of: Annual direct disbursements (N149,392,687,145.63), High Impact Phase VI (N30,000,000,000.00), Zonal interventions (N12,000,000,000.00), Stabilization Fund (N10,670,906,224.69), Designated projects (N5,400,000,000.00) and National Research Fund (N1,000,000,000.00).
“With this budget of change, each of the 40 Federal universities and thirty four state universities will receive the sum N1,009,410,000.00 while each of the 54 public polytechnics get the sum N691,632,000.00 and each of the 55 public Colleges of Education receive the sum of N679,057,000.00.”
“This is the biggest ever annual direct disbursement (normal intervention) given to any beneficiary institution since the establishment of the Fund,” he noted.
A break-down of budget shows that 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.
On the backlog of unutilized allocations, Baffa explained that 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 years unutilized (unaccessed funds). The inability of institutions to access and utilize 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.
To ensure that the 2016 intervention allocations are accessed and judiciously utilized by all beneficiary institutions, he said the Fund would be running an Access Clinic for beneficiary institutions with backlog of unutilized funds.
“The main objective of the clinic is discuss, diagnose and remedy all encumbrances so as to get the institution fulfill 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 act, etc,” he explained.
He believed that with the Access Clinic, all institutions would be supported to clear any backlog of fund and commence the utilization of the 2016 allocation.
Baffa announced that there are four crucial reviews to this intervention aside the massive increase of its quantum. “First, it should be awarded in the ratio 50:40:10 [50% to support foreign full-time doctorate and master degree, 40% to support full-time doctorate and master degree in Nigeria, and 10% to support bench work at home or abroad]. Second the value of the scholarship is improved to reflect the current realities. Third, choice of country of study must be guided by the World University Ranking of Times Higher Education (THE).”
“Scholars should aspire to go to countries that have universities ahead of the best university in Nigeria (based on the ranking of that year). And fourth, scholars should be guided by the University league tables of the countries to ensure that they are seeking for placement in the top-of-the-league universities [top 20% of the universities in advanced economies and top 10% of the universities in developing economies],” he added.
TETFund was established and refocused to intervene in only Public Tertiary Education Institutions by providing funding for the provision and maintenance of Essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning; Instructional material and equipment; Research and publication; Academic Staff Training and Development; and Any other need which, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, is critical and essential for the improvement of quality and maintenance of standards in the higher educational institutions”.
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