By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA â€”Â Just as the academic activities were expected to resume in the nationâ€™s universities, Executive Secretary, Education Trust Fund (ETF), Professor Mahmood Yakubu yesterday asked institutions yet to access the over N23.6 billion intervention fund to do so within the next two months.
Prof. Yakubu who stated this at the ongoing zonal technical workshops for officials of state Ministries of Education and State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) taking place in the six geo-political zones of the country, warned the institutions that funds not accessed before the deadline would be forfeited.
The workshops are taking place in Lagos for South-West zone, Enugu for South-East, Port-Harcourt for South-South, Minna for North-Central, Bauchi for North-East and Kaduna for North-West.
The Executive Secretary who lamented the un-seriousness on the part of some beneficiaries to take advantage of the allocation, explained that the ETF had as at 2008 unveiled a regime of enhanced education tax allocations by more than 100 per cent for all beneficiaries for the first time in the 10 year history of the fund.
The importance of the interactive workshop, according to him, is that it provides a forum for key officials driving ETF intervention projects at secondary and basic education levels in the country to primarily assess the level of compliance of beneficiaries in accessing all outstanding allocations of education tax.
He said: â€œWhile the Fund has been discharging its obligations to beneficiaries consistently over the years, some of the beneficiaries have not been fully accessing their annual allocations for the purpose of rehabilitation, restoration and consolidation of educational infrastructure and facilities and other learning resources.â€
He said by the first quarter of 2009, the level of unaccessed funds grew with the accumulation of a staggering sum of N23.672 billion which is unacceptable.