By Adesina Wahab
THE Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETfund, is targeting the sum of N500 billion next year to help address the issue of provision of infrastructure and other support for tertiary Institutions in the country.
This is just as the Fund realized the sum of N251 billion out of the projected N277 billion in the outgoing year.
This was disclosed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Tet fund, Hajji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, during the TETfund/ FIRS 2020 Joint Interactive Forum held in Lagos.
To allow the Fund get more revenue from the Education Development Tax, EDT, the two percent being currently deducted from the profits of quoted companies, may be increased to three percent, as the law that set up the Fund will be amended to that effect.
Ibrahim-Imam noted that the intervention of TETfund had saved public tertiary Institutions from collapse.
Reacting to the calls by some people for the Fund to also assist private institutions, Ibrahim-Imam said that would be against the reasons for setting up TETfund.
“We are not competing with the private institutions, we are competing against them. Our mandate is to get our public universities to surpass the level of the private institutions. So, the answer to that is capital No. We cannot fund the private institutions,” he said.
He added that the law that set up the Fund did not make provision for doing that.
On the revenue receipt by the Fund for the year, he explained that out of the projected sum of N277 billion, about N251 billion had been received as at October this year.
He added that the Fund expects a revenue of N500 billion next year.
On the issue of hostel accommodation for students in universities, the Board Chairman opined that the Fund would soon embark on the construction of 2000 bed space hostel accommodation across institutions in the country.
“It is to be done in partnership with the private sector. I think the parents and guardians should be willing to pay may be N50,000 annually for a bed space. In some private universities, people pay about N1 million annually for a bed space,” he said.
He stressed that for the about 226 public institutions being supported by the Fund, for the year 2020, each university gets an average of N800 million support and each polytechnic about N 750 million.
The ES of TETfund, Suleiman Bogoro, while reacting to some questions, said those calling for the inclusion of Colleges of Agriculture and the Law School in the support list of the Fund were not considering the law that set up the Fund.
“The Colleges of Agriculture were delisted in 2011 because the law that set up the Fund does not incorporate mono-technics that they are. Those also canvassing supporting private universities are not conversant with the data of students in public and private universities. Over 96 percent of the students in our universities are in public ones,” he said.
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, in his speech, said the Service would continue to support the Fund and that it would do everything to let the Fund meet its target.
“We are pleased with what TETfund has done with the money given to it and we are ready to also support it the more. We are partners on progress and we will continue to be,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and his counterpart at the Lagos State University, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, who sent representatives to the event, praised the Fund for its support to their institutions.
The Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Yabatech, Engineer Obafemi Omokungbe, said the testimonies by the institutions supported by the Fund were enough evidence of its usefulness and effectiveness.