…Laments non access of allocated funds by some tertiary institutions
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has said over N12 billion has been allocated to the University of Maiduguri so far sincey1999.
This came as it lamented that some institutions were not coming forth to access allocations due for them, regretting that they still have allocations for several years waiting for them at TETFund while University of Maiduguri has accessed up to the 2016 allocation already.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr Abdullahi Baffa, who, in a statement,disclosed this at the commissioning of the University of Maiduguri Senate building, named after President Muhammadu Buhari, said out of the amount, the varsity had a accessed over N11 billion for establishment of certain projects.
The statement signed by TETFund’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Relations, Ebikwo Benn, quoted Dr Baffa as saying that from 1999 till date, “over N12billion has been allocated to the University of Maiduguri, out of which the university has accessed over N11billion and used same for various projects including the ones that were commissioned.”
The TETFund boss, who described the university as one of the top notch in terms of beneficiary institutions that access TETFund intervention quickly, lamented that some institutions still have allocations for several years waiting for them at TETFund while University of Maiduguri has accessed up to the 2016 allocation already.
He used the opportunity to inform the university community of the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for TETFund to support the Regional Centre in Research and Production of Knowledge to Counter Violent Extremism at the University of Maiduguri.
Other projects commissioned by Dr. Baffa aside the President Muhammadu Buhari Ultra-Modern Multi-Billion Senate Building, according to the statement, were the Centre for Instructional Technology; Veterinary Teaching Hospital Complex; and 2,200 Seat Capacity Mega Lecture Halls Complex.
Also speaking during the commissioning exercise, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman Goro, stated that the clamour for upward review of accruable Education Tax to TETFund was justified given what was seen at the University.
He added that tertiary institutions in Nigeria would have been mere glorified secondary schools without TETFund interventions.
According to the lawmaker who also commissioned the Senate Chambers of the university, projects that are sited on the campus of the University of Maiduguri through the intervention of TETFund were clear pictures of what judicious utilization of public fund should be in Nigeria.
He said:“Over the years I have had the privilege of visiting, inspecting and commissioning public buildings, if you will not accuse me of sentiment or being bias, I want to say the clamour for upward review of the percentage that is accruable to TETFund needs to be reviewed upward.
For over two years, we have been debating, there is a huge resistance from other demanding sectors that we should not increase provision for TETFund.
“But everyone needs to know that TETFund has justified the call for upward review, there is no two ways about it, we all agree that without TETFund, our tertiary institutions would have just been glorified secondary schools.
We have seen what judicious use of public funds is all about and I think everyone should join us in the clamor.”
In his response, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, said the coming of the Executive Secretary, the Chairman House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services as well as others was a clear testimony of confidence in the council and management of the University as well as the commitment to the realization of the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari in the development of tertiary education in Nigeria.
Hrarybim:“This great occasion coincides with the significant improvement in the security of our host community, following intensive efforts by the Federal Government, especially the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies in dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency.
“We have long decided under the guidance of Senate, CPDD and Management to sustain the University on an uninterrupted academic calendar, despite the devastating impact of the insurgency in the north east sub-region, Maiduguri in particular.
“Consequently, the University has maintained stable academic activities and services without break since 2009.”