James Emejo in Abuja
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday opposed the move to include private universities as part of the beneficiaries of the fund.
The two bodies alongside other stakeholders also opposed attempt to amend the TetFund Act to include federal teaching hospitals as beneficiaries.
Making their positions known a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education chaired by Hon. Aminu Suleiman (APC, Kano), the stakeholders said the TETFund Act should not be amended.
Previous attempts to amend the Act had also failed in the past.
The Executive Secretary of TetFund, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, while presenting the position of the agency, said: â€œThe promoters of this bill are not here to present their position, and I believe this is the first reason to reject the amendment.
â€œIf private universities will resort to government for funding, it then means their licence should be withdrawn because they canâ€™t stand on their own.
â€œAdmissibility of tertiary teaching hospitals, private universities and colleges of agriculture will mean the drop in the world ranking of most Nigerian institutions that are already lagging behind.
â€œIt will lead to the agitation by other members of the monotechnic family that were hitherto excluded from TETFund beneficiaries to be captured in TETFund beneficiary institutions list.
â€œIn view of the foregoing submissions, our humble prayers are that the existing TETFund Act should be allowed to remain and operate as it is currently in order to sustain the visible impact of the fund on
public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education
â€œThe House of Representatives should discourage any amendment to the TETFund Act 2011 which would put more pressure on the Fund by expanding the list of beneficiaries of the fund.â€
Also, ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, said: â€œWe are against inclusion of teaching hospitals into Tetfund. The National Assembly has made 1 percent in the 2018 budget to health sector that should be enough for them.
â€œInclusion of federal teaching hospitals will make the intervention of Tetfund ineffective.Â The impact of Tetfund will be drastically reduce.Â Private universities should contribute not to be collecting from Tetfund. They are charging and making profit.â€
Other stakeholders such as the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), the â€˜Say No Campaign,â€™ among others all opposed the proposed amendment.