ABUJA–SIXTEEN additional institutions in the country were enlisted by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund,to benefit its foreign scholarship programme in 2018.
The board of the organisation approved the enlistment of the benefiary institutions during the year after meeting the requirements for enlistment.
By this, scholars from the beneficiary institutions who wish to pursue further educational qualifications in their chosen fields can apply for sponsorship from the fund.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr Abdullahi Baffa, who stated this in Abuja, said it was the first time such a large number of institutions got enlisted and publicly presented with certificates.
This came as he said the TETFund Scholarship for Academic Staff Programme was elevated with the recognition of the scholarship scheme by top ranking universities across the world.
“This culminated into the Fund signing Memorandum of Understanding,MoU, with several foreign universities to give discounts to the Fund for sponsoring scholars in their institutions,” he said.
The new benefiary institutions were the Nigerian Army University,Biu; Ondo State University of Science and Technology,Okitipupa; First Technical University, Ibadan and Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna.
Others were Binyaminu Usman Polytechnic, Hadejia; College of Education,Billiri,Gombe State; College of Education, Lanlate,Oyo State; Federal Polytechnic, Ukana, Akwa Ibom State;Gateway Polytechnic, Sapaade,Ogun State and Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa, Ogun State.
He also listed the Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji,Ondo State;Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki,Oyo State;The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa,Oyo State; University of Medical Science, Ondo State and Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Enugu State as among the new beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, speaking last Friday at a news briefing, Dr Baffa said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that a total of N161 billion be approved for the execution of some projects in the nation’s public tertiary institutions.
The amount, according to the Executive Secretary, was to be used for the 2019 intervention activities in the beneficiary public tertiary institutions across the country.
He explained that each benefitting university would get an allocation of over N700 million while the benefitting polytechnics and colleges of education would get over N500 million with a little difference in favour of polytechnics.
According to him, the increased intervention was as a result of an increase in the 2017 Education Tax Collection which stands at over N200 billion, and as such, public tertiary institutions now have an opportunity to enjoy more scholarships, research funds and infrastructure development.
He said: “The approval of the 2018 Intervention Budget by Mr. President in December 2018 heralds the commencement of the 2019 TETFund Intervention Activities. The approved sum of N161 billion has been allocated to the eligible institutions for 2019 intervention activities in accordance with the provisions of the TETFund Act 2011.
“Consequently, each public university will get N785,832,700.00; each public polytechnic – N536,703,502.00; and each college of education will get N510,084,900.00 .
The detailed breakdown of the allocations will be released after the Fund communicates the allocation letters to the institutions.”
He disclosed that as at November 2018, the total education tax collection stands at N200,793,193,208.54. This,he noted, showed an increase of about 25.47% over the previous“year’s collection of N154.9Billion.
“The growth in the Education Tax collection is a clear confirmation that Nigeria’s economy has recovered from the avoidable recession it was plunged into by the previous administration.
“The increased collection will obviously translate to a bigger allocation for public tertiary education institutions and therefore more projects, more scholarships, more research funds in the institutions,”he added.
Disclosing that over N133.84 billion was disbursed by the Fund to tertiary institutions in 2018 as against the sum of N69.18 billion in 2017,Baffa explained that this 93.5% increase in disbursement was possible due to the 2017 projects proposal defense and access clinic organised for benefitting institutions by TETFUND.
He said:”Fund disbursement for the period January -December, 2018 across the various intervention lines was N133.84 Billion. The distribution across the three levels are: Universities – N66.93Billion, Polytechnics – N32.37Billion, Colleges of Education –N32.65Billion while others were N1.89 Billion.
The Fund reaped the benefits of its 2017 Projects Proposal Defense and Access Clinic for institutions in 2018 with about 97% increase in access of intervention fund by
Beneficiary Institutions from N69.18B in 2017 to N133.84B in 2018.”