Buhari approves N292bn for varsities, polytechnics, colleges

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PRESIDENT BUHARI BREAKING OF RAMADAN FAST 0C. President Muhammadu Buhari addressing diplomatic Community during the Breaking of Ramadan Fast at the State House PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. APRIL 28TH 2022

In line with Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) approved guidelines, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N292.6 billion for tertiary institutions from which each public university would be paid N642,848,138.00, polytechnics would get N396,780,086.00 each, while Colleges of Education in the country would get N447,758,804.00 each.

The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, made the disclosure while addressing heads of tertiary institutions in Abuja on Monday.

Echono noted a sharp drop in the amount of the money disbursed in 2022 when compared to what was disbursed in the previous year.

It would be recalled that in 2021, the financial disbursement approved by President Buhari was N906 million to each university, while N628 was allocated to each Polytechnic and College of Education.

The TETFund boss, however, hinted that they were indications there might be a rise in financial allocation next year, due to the hike in education tax from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

He enjoined the beneficiary institutions to fasten the construction work on their projects in order to avoid being cut up with rising inflation.

Echono said: “The enormous task of repositioning the tertiary education sector for sustained relevance is a collective one, and it requires that we work in harmony and synergy to achieve the desired national objective through a robust and high quality higher education sector.

“This synergy, which is the aggregation of multiple resources that provide greater value, cooperation, and teamwork will require that we bring onboard our collective experiences and expertise towards finding solutions to specific national problems and goals.”

He further reminded the benefiting institutions that the broad areas of interventions, as approved by the Board of Trustees, were categorized into the annual direct intervention, and the special interventions which are usually at the discretion of the Board of Trustees or the directives of the Federal Government.

“But in all cases; disbursements are based on the equality of states and of geo-political zones as enshrined in the enabling Act. The letters of allocation for the annual direct intervention shall be released to you at end of this meeting, while the allocations for special interventions will be released appropriately in due course,” he added.

Announcing the removal of internal audit clearance request on submissions to access second tranche payment where there is a final tranche outstanding, the TETFund boss said the decision was to eliminate bottlenecks and delays in the execution of the intervention projects

He further highlighted another area of concern which is the incidence of distressed or non-performing projects which is becoming rampant and disturbing.

Echono added: “For example, there are about seven non-performing/distressed projects in University of Port Harcourt, six in Enugu State University, five in University of Nigeria Nsukka, four in Taraba State University, four in Kaduna State University, and one at Alvan koku College of Education.

“This phenomenon becomes even more worrisome when viewed alongside the problem of un-accessed funds.

“We are mindful of the intricate variables in project management and delivery as well as the constraints created by our own internal policies and are ensuring that we review our processes where required but will also demand from beneficiary institutions accountability and sanctions where needed.”

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