FG disburses N208 billion intervention fund to varsities, others 

THE Federal Government has disbursed a total of N208 billion 2019 intervention to public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the country.

Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Suleiman Bogoro, announced the figure on Thursday in Abuja during the presentation of letters of award to heads of the beneficiary tertiary institutions including public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education across the country.

According to him, each of the 91 public universities (43 Federal universities and 48 state-owned universities), would receive N826.6 million, each polytechnic-N566.7 million and college of education-N542.2 million which was allocated as annual direct disbursement to the beneficiary institutions.

Bogoro, said one university, polytechnic and college of education from each of the six geo-political zone would also benefit from another special high impact intervention of about N30billion.

He further disclosed that each beneficiary university under the special high impact project would get N3billion while polytechnics and colleges of education would receive N1billion.

He also revealed that the agency had between January and June 2019 successfully disbursed N19.9billion for physical infrastructures and library interventions.

He, however, frowned at alleged diversion of funds meant for contractors to other investments, warning that the agency would no longer tolerate such sharp practices.

He said: “TETFund seriously frowns at the diversion of funds meant for contractors to other related expenditures and investments thereby delaying project completion.

“The sluggish implementation of projects which results in huge accumulated /unaccessed funds is worrisome. Beneficiary institutions are reminded of the Board’s decision not to allow more than four years of accumulated allocation.

“The Board of Trustees has approved stiffer penalties for defaulting institutions,” Bogoro said.

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He expressed worry over the increasing number of beneficiary institutions of TETFund’s projects, stressing that the trend has the capacity to massively whittle down the impact of the agency’s intervention.

Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), who doubles as the acting chairman of TETFund’s Board of Trustees, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, lauded TETFund for its various developmental roles in tertiary education institutions in the country.

He called on the government to put in place measures that will ensure that intervention projects of TETFund are not affected by the rise in the number of tertiary institutions.

“My concern is the number of beneficiary institutions, and the volume of its intervention is drastically being reduced. This year we have the highest number of beneficiary institutions.

“Yes, Nigeria needs more universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, but TETFund needs to be protected so that its intervention will still be meaningful,” he said.