Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
A total of 187 federal and state tertiary institutions in the six geo-political zones of the country have benefited from the sensitisation and awareness exercise carried out by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
The exercise could not take place in 11 institutions due to the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during the period, as well as other circumstances.
The Executive Secretary of the fund, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, said some of the encumbrances were as a result of lack of adequate information and unnecessary ambiguities created by some desk officers and staff of beneficiary institutions.
He explained that the seminar was not only to clear grey areas through detailed presentation of the requirements for each of the fund’s intervention lines, but also to ensure a more cordial and effective collaboration between the beneficiaries and management of the fund.
“It is important to state that the sensitisation exercise was in furtherance of the various attempts made in the over 20 years of the fund’s existence to ensure that beneficiary institutions access funds allocated to them for physical infrastructure, library development, research and publication, academic staff training and development, etc.
“By the guidelines of the fund, beneficiary institutions cannot access funds except they properly retire monies earlier disbursed for their projects and programmes. Many of them are unable to satisfy this key requirement, which was introduced to ensure judicious utilisation of the funds and value for money. The effect of this has been huge accumulation of un-accessed funds running into billions of naira.”
During the sensitisation workshop, teams drawn from the relevant departments in the fund such as Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D), Education Support Services and Internal Audit Unit made presentations showing the guidelines for the various interventions and the need for full compliance.