Heads of Federal Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria, particularly in the South-West, have been advised to utilise the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention given to them judiciously and for the purposes the money was released.

Giving this advice was the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief (Barrister) Ezenwo Nyeson Wike, at the Stakeholders’ Town Hall Meeting on TETFund interventions in Tertiary Institutions in the South-West held recently at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan. The Minister, who debunked the claim that the Federal Government was not interested in education, was proud to say that 10 out of 13 Universities in Africa which won the World Bank Centres of Excellence were from Nigeria. This includes the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

Barrister Wike reiterated that the Federal Government was committed to qualitative and quantitative education in the nation, with the allocation of N1.3tr for infrastructural development in the Universities for a period of five years. He, therefore, called on institutions to access the N27b intervention fund with TETFund.

Earlier, the Acting Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mallam Aliyu Na’iya, said the agency was committed to adding value to teaching, learning and research through capacity building and knowledge acquisition in Nigeria.

Mallam Na’iya informed the meeting that TETFund discourages delays in execution of projects, which formed the basis of why intervention funds were released to the implementing institutions in three batches: 1st Tranche – 50%, 2nd Tranche – 35% and final Tranche – 15%, a system that gives no room for abandoned project.

The Acting Executive Secretary promised to work with institutions in moving higher education to the next level through prompt and timely release of intervention funds after all due process might have been followed. The Chairman, Board of Directors of TETFund, Dr. Musa Babayo said the Fund had continued to intervene in the critical areas of Library Development, Research Project, Journal Publication, Conference Attendance, Manuscript Development and National Research Projects in tertiary institutions across the country. Dr. Babayo said the goal of President Goodluck Jonathan administration to create access and quality for Nigerian child, which necessitated the formulation of the Educational Transformation Agenda.

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Professor Jerry Gana commended the Federal Government for the giant strides recorded in the education sector. The former Minister of Information supported the idea of allowing institutions to render public accounts of funds released to them, saying that the move should be sustained.

The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, represented by Mr. Akinbode Agbaoye said the Stakeholders’ Meeting was long overdue.He charged heads of institutions to involve TETFund intervention in their project planning process by creating the executive capacity to utilise the funds.
The head of each educational institution present showcased how the TETFund intervention and Federal Government capital funds were utilised in their institutions. The FUNAAB team was led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole who made a brilliant presentation on behalf of the University. Other University officials at the occasion were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Adekojo Waheed; Registrar, Mr. Matthew Ayoola; Bursar, Mr. Moses Ilesanmi; Director, Academic Planning, Dr. Olukayode Akinyemi and the Director, Budget & Expenditure, Mr. Olukayode Osinuga.