TETFund to disburse N30bn as 2023 high-impact intervention in 18 varsities, polytechnics, colleges

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arch. Sonny Echono, has disclosed that the Fund has earmarked a total of N30 billion for disbursement to six universities, six polytechnics and six colleges of education under its 2023 special high impact intervention.

Echono, who made this known Thursday at a news conference in Abuja, said each of the six beneficiary universities would get N3 billion, while each of the 12 selected  colleges of education and polytechnics would get N1 billion.

Under the TETFund’s high impact project, one university, one polytechnic and one college of education are selected each from the six geopolitical zones of the country to benefit from the project every year.

Echono said special intervention is usually at the discretion of the Board of Trustees (BoT) for which allocations are done on the basis of the six geopolitical zones and are done equitably by the decision of the board as enshrined in the enabling Act.

This seeks to massively inject funds into selected tertiary institutions to achieve a major turnaround through programme upgrade and improvement in the teaching and learning environment.

Beneficiaries institutions are also selected based on their age of establishment, among other criteria.

“For this year, the Special High Impact will be given to six universities. They are Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai (North-central zone; Federal University, Wukari in Taraba state (Northeast zone); Federal University, Birnin Kebbi (Northwest); in the southeast, we have Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, while in the southsouth, we have Edo State University and in Southwest we have Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo state,” Echono said.

The beneficiary polytechnics are: Federal Polytechnic, Offa; Federal Polytechnic, Gombe, Federal Polytechnic, Kabo, Kano state, Anambra State Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Bonny and Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora are to get N1 billion each.

Also, Plateau State COE, Federal COE,Yola, Federal COE, Zaria, Enugu State COE, Delta State COE and Tai Solarin COE are to get N1 billion each, Echono said.

“As I said, last year, six universities benefitted. We zone six every year and pick one from each zone. Next year, another six will be picked and the same applies. You also noticed that there is a balance between the state and federal institution and that is how we spread it.

“Still on the High Impact, we also do the same for Polytechnics and the colleges of education. So we have N1 billion each for six polytechnics and N1 billion each for six colleges of education, specifically for high impact projects.

“Further breakdown of the 2023 Intervention Budget of N320 billion as recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari was disbursed under annual direct intervention to universities representing 62 per cent of the budget,” he said.

Echono said special disbursements took 20.06 per cent amounting to N64.2bn, noting that this category include Special High Impact Project, security infrastructure, completion of distressed projects, which he said gurped N12 billion, construction of micro teaching laboratories and funding of teaching practice among others.

The TETFund boss further revealed that the sum of N32 billion would be disbursed for designated projects including Research and Innovative Fund,  Institutionalisation of Research and Development (R&D) and Assistance for Global Research Centre located at University of Ibadan, among others.

Echono said five per cent of the allocation would be used for staff salaries and allowances, project monitoring and zonal capital projects.

“Under this Special impact project you can also see that we have 18 different states, so its quite a big development to achieve,” he said.

He said the other area of intervention for the special intervention is students’ hostels.

“Many of you have seen deplorable accommodations our students live in. For a number of years now, we commenced these interventions and we will encourage schools because we believe the hostels are some of the areas where private sector funding can be attracted.

“Last year we released intervention in 20 institutions and the hostels have been completed. Another 20 institutions are ready this year, that is one of the importance of the special impact project,” he said.

The TETfund executive secretary further said the Fund is aware of the challenges facing higher institutions, especially the issue of people targeting academic centres, kidnapping children and disrupting academic activities.

“So we are implementing strategies to enhance security in the institution,” he said.

On Special disbursement, Echono said N6 billion had been allocated to institutions in security-prone areas, especially those institutions with internal security challenges as well as institutions with cases of abductions. 

Echono further disclosed that N500 million had been allocated to some selected colleges of education for micro-teaching laboratories and practice.