By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson
The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa has opened up on why private tertiary institution in the country cannot access Federal Government’s intervention fund.
Baffa spoke on the sideline of the commissioning of TETFUND projects at the Kwara State Polytechnic, while fielding question from newsmen on Thursday.
He explained that the education fund is meant for only higher institutions of learning that are not charging tuition.
“We have to respect the law. The law is crystal clear. TETFUND was to stop government from introducing tuition fees on tertiary institution.
He said the fund is pooled from the education tax levied on companies operating in the country.
“The essence is to arrest decay in schools that are not charging tuition fees. So, why should institution-collecting fees from student’s benefit what is meant as support for public institutions?
“The intervention fund is only for public institutions be law, ” he further explained.
Baffa, however, disclosed that the agency has an effective monitoring mechanism so as to ensure judicious use of the fund be benefiting schools.
He further disclosed that some institutions that didn’t not live up to expectations were appropriately sanction, adding that in some cases security agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC) were in some cases for investigation.
Speaking on the Kwara Polytechnic projects, he commended the management for judicious use of the fund.
He revealed that a total of N679m was accessed by the polytechnic in 2016, adding that a total of N213bn was released to institutions across the country last year.
Meanwhile, the Rector of the institution, Alhaji Masud Elelu has said the commissioned projects would address some infrastructural challenges confronting staff and students alike.
On the 500 sitting capacity library projects, he explained that it is named after seasoned educationist, late Prof. Sheu Jimoh, to immortalise him for his contribution to the development of the school while he held various position in the institutions. The projects commissioned were the library complex, academic staff building, Centre for Research and Information Technology, auditorium and Stadium complex.