TETFund injected N2.5trn in tertiary institutions in 10 years ― BoT chair

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has injected about N2.5 trn in infrastructure and staff development in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the last 10 years.
Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of TETFund, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, made this known Thursday.  
He also said that the agency was targeting more than N500bn in education tax collection by 2023.
Ibrahim-Imam made this known at the third edition of Tax Payers Forum in Lagos,  with the theme, TETFUND Intervention: Catalyst for Transforming Tertiary Education in Nigeria”.
The BoT chairman promised to ensure that intervention to the beneficiary institutions be raised to  50 per cent next year and 100 per cent in two years.

Ibrahim-Imam, disclosed that for this year alone TETFund budgeted the sum of N300bn to over 226 higher institutions across the country.
He added that the agency had budgeted N120bn for education in 2020, which was increased to N300bn in 2021.  He tasked the Federal Inland Revenue Service on increasing the education tax collection to N500bn in the next two years.
He said more than N30bn was set aside for academic staff training in the various institutions across the country.

In response to the challenges of acute shortage of hostels in universities, he said, the BoT had approved the construction of 160,000 additional bed spaces in the institutions across the country.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the pro-chancellor of the University of Benin, Dr Sonny Kuku, commended the stakeholders for their contributions while assuring them of the determination of the federal government to transform the entire landscape of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

In the event, the executive governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was represented by his deputy, Olufemi Hamzat, as a guest of honour.

In his speech, Hamzat said TETFund was established as a child of necessity to intervene in the ailing higher school education system, adding that the nation’s tertiary institutions would have been worse than the current situation without TETFund. 

He, therefore, appealed to 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.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, in his welcome address,said the taxpayers forum served as the platform to honour and identify individuals and companies that had made tremendous contributions to education through the consistent payment of education tax  which 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 had been channelled into different activities and areas in line with the mandate of the Fund as enshrined in the establishment Act.
“Infrastructure has been given special attention in this regard because of its decay and collapse across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria at the outset.

“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.”

Bogoro said the Fund had sponsored over 10,632 lecturers in the local PhD programme, and over 9,072 lecturers in the local master’s degree programmes across the country between 2011 and the year 2020.
“The Fund has also sponsored well over 4,485 lecturers to overseas institutions for PhD programmes and over 3,192 Master’s degree candidates,” Bogoro said.