Wike: N73.8b TETFund Intervention Fund Still

At least N73.8 billion Tertiary Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention grant intended for Nigerian public tertiary institutions are yet to be accessed by the institutions they are meant for as at June 2013. Fourty-seven per cent representing N35 billion is intended for the universities.
Out of the un-accessed money, N4.3 billion is accrued to the University of Lagos, N4.2 billion for the University of Calabar and N4.1 billion for Anambra State University.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, presented these figures at a meeting with Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of universities in Abuja Tuesday.
He gave a further breakdown of the figures: N2.8 billion each for Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto and University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria Nsukka and Federal University of Technology, Yola, University of Jos and the University of Port Harcourt were supposed to access N3 billion each.
“A question that I want to pose, for which an answer must be provided has to do with why institutions would cry that they lack adequate funding and at the same time have funds due to them un-accessed,” Wike said.
He added that all the institutions that had not accessed their funds must provide satisfactory answers or face necessary sanctions.
“It is a clear lack of capacity that has made the institutions fail to access the funds with the inability to follow simple guidelines of accessing and adequately utilising the funds.”
Wike lamented that some institutions had left their funding completely in the hands of TETFund which actually simply plays an intervention role.
“The impact of TETfund seems not to be noticed due to the non-adherence to physical master plan of universities in the sighting of projects in the institutions.
The Chairman, TETFund Board, Dr. Musa Babayo, also disclosed that the N3billion research fund and N2 billion book development fund, both meant to be accessed by lecturers in the universities remain un-utilised.
The capacity to implement intervention budget remains a critical issue, he said, adding that the responsibility for this lies with governing councils.
In another development, Wike has called on the National Examinations Council (NECO) to look inwards and improve on its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
This, he clarified should however not translate to an increase in examinations registration fees.
Speaking at a conference on repositioning NECO, organised by the council’s governing board in Abuja yesterday, Wike said NECO cannot rely solely on the government for its funding.
“It is sad for instance to note that since inception in 1999, NECO is still operating from rented offices. You must therefore as a matter of necessity put your own structures in place,” he stated,” he said.
The minister lauded the efforts of NECO which he said had improved the sector.
He cited the introduction of e-registration, early release of results, provision of adequate security for sensitive materials, concerted efforts to prevent question leakages among other achievements.