Abuja Law School
Stakeholders in the education sector Tuesday kicked against a bill seeking amendments to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFUND) Act 2011.
The bill seeks to provide for the inclusion of the Nigerian Law School and the Federal Colleges of Agriculture and Research Institutions as beneficiaries of TETFUND intervention.
It was however vehemently opposed by stakeholders who argued that TETFUND was already saddled with the provision of intervention funds to the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education and might be over burdened if these proposed institutions were brought on board.
The opposition came at a public hearing on the bill organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Education at the National Assembly.
President of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge, condemned the proposed bill on the grounds that such an amendment would encourage similar professional bodies like of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Chartered Institute of Bankers, Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) Public Relations Institute among others to also seek to be beneficiaries of TETFUND intervention.
Fagge also argued that the amendment would lead to further decay of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions as the funds available to TETFUND would be spread too thinly across board.
He stated that the Nigeria Law School and other institutions seeking to become beneficiaries of TETFUND were not tertiary institutions and cannot claim to be among those whom the fund was meant to serve.
Also opposing the bill was the National Universities Commission (NUC), the regulator of the nations ivory towers.
Prof. Adebisi Balogun who represented NUC at the hearing, argued that the professional institutes should not be included in the TETFUND to avoid opening a floodgate for other institutes and professional bodies to join the bandwagon.
TETFUND formerly known as Education Trust Fund was established in the entire education sector until the law was amended to restrict its intervention to only government owned tertiary Institutions.
Its intervention is mainly in the areas of infrastructural development, provision of facilities and learning equipment, research and development as well as capacity building for academics teaching in these institutions.