Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has decried the situation where universities and other teriatiary institutions cry that they lack funds to execute projects, whiles they have about N100billion un-accessed at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETfund.
Addressing pro-chancellors and vice chancellors of Federal and State Universities at a meeting to resolve the challenge of un-accessed TETfund development grants, Wike said: “A question that I want to pose, for which answer must be provided has to do with why institutions would cry that they lack adequate funding and at the same time have funds do to them un-accessed.
“As at June ending, information available to me indicates that about N73,87billion which should have been disbursed to tertiary institutions remain un-accessed. Out of this, N35billion representing 47percent is due to universities. Funds un-accessed by the polytechnics are estimated at N16billion (21percent), while those for Colleges of Education stand at N12billion (16percent).”
The Minister noted that the fundamental objective of the meeting was to find out why the universities have failed to live up to their responsibilities. He also stated the administration was interested in knowing whether the implementing agency, TETfund was acting in line with the law that established it.
“Our institutions must prove that the value that they are giving back to the society is worth what the society is putting in. It is for this reason that during the inauguration of our governing councils, emphasis was laid on ensuring fiscal responsibility”, Wike said.
He said with the efficient utilization of already available resources, a number of the infrastructural challenges will be addressed.
In his address, Chairman of TETFund, Babayo Shehu regretted that despite actions taken by the agency to ensure that universities access funds, funds are still un-accessed.
Chairman of Committee of Vice Chancellors, Prof. Barth Okolo stated that the insistence of TETfund that universities must conclude work on previous projects before accessing fresh funds was responsible for the un-accessed.