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N2.5tn injected in varsities, others in 10 years -FG

The Federal Government has injected over N2.5 trillion in the development of infrastructure and staff development in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria in
the last 10 years of establishment of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

Chairman, Board of Trustees of Trustees of TETFund, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, made this known on Thursday at the 3rd edition of Tax Payers Forum with the theme: “TETFUND Intervention: Catalyst for transforming tertiary education in Nigeria.”

The details of the event which held in Lagos, was sent to Journalists in Abuja.

While promising to ensure that intervention to the beneficiary institutions be increased by 50 per cent next year and 100 per cent in two years, Ibrahim-Imam also said that the agency was targeting more than N500 billion education tax collection by 2023.

The event in which the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was represented by his Deputy, Olufemi Hamzat, as guest of honour was attended by captains of industries, academia and other stakeholders.

The governor insisted that funding for the education sector must be prioritised, adding that TETFund was then established as a child of necessity to intervene in the ailing Universities system and that Universities in Nigeria would have been worse than the current situation without TETFund.

He therefore, appealed to the private companies operating in Nigeria to be consistent in their remittances, while also charging TETFund to endeavour to create Silicon Valley for Nigeria and focus on how to take research to the market.

Ibrahim-Imam said that for 2021 alone, TETFund budgeted the sum of N300 billion to over 226 higher institutions across the country in 2021.

According to him, the agency had budgeted N120 billion to education in 2020 but was increased to N300 billion in 2021.

He tasked the Federal Inland Revenue Service on increasing the education tax collection to N500 billion in the next two years.

Ibrahim-Imam said more than N30 billion was set aside for academic staff training in the various institutions across the country.

He said in response to the challenges of acute shortage of hostels in Universities in the country, that the BoT of TETfund has approved the construction of 160,000 additional bed spaces in the institutions across the country.

The Minister of Education of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Pro-chancellor of University of Benin, Dr. Sonny Kuku, commended the stakeholders for their contribution while assuring them of the determination of the Federal Government to transform the entire landscape of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, in his welcome address, said the Tax Payers Forum served as the platform to honour and identity individuals and companies that have made tremendous contributions to education through the consistent payment of education tax and have invariably contributed to the development of education and by extension that of the entire nation.

He explained that the two per cent education tax is remitted annually by companies through the FIRS to TETFund for allocation and onward disbursement to beneficiary institutions across the country.

Bogoro said that the education tax over the years has been channeled into different activities and areas in line with the mandate of the Fund as enshrined in the establishment Act.

He said, “Infrastructure has been given special attention in this regard, because of its decay and collapse across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria at the onset.

“A careful observation will reveal that the Fund has between January to December 2020 alone carried out
16,982 various infrastructure projects across beneficiary institutions.

“Considering the projects carried out since inception, based on annual
allocation to institutions over the years 2011 to 2021, it is estimated that a total of over 152,838 various infrastructure projects have been carried out across various public tertiary institutions.

“These projects include construction of lecture theatres, classrooms, hostels, offices, laboratories, road networks and fencing of institutions in different parts of the country. Tertiary institutions
across the country are dotted with TETFund projects which bear the insignia of the Fund distinctly inscribed on each project.

“Additionally, we have sponsored over 10,632 lecturers in the local Ph.D. program, over 9,072 lecturers in the local master’s degree programme across the country between 2011 and year 2020.

“The Fund has also sponsored well over 4,485 lecturers to overseas institutions for Ph.D. programs and over 3,192 Master’s degree candidates also overseas, across tertiary institutions within the same period.

“The Fund has further supported 71,263 lecturers in Federal and State Colleges of Education under its teacher supervision program, bringing to a total 98,644 the number of academic staff across public tertiary institutions that have benefited from the academic staff training and development programme of the Fund.”

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