By Grace Udofia
The Federal Government of Nigeria through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has injected more than N2.5 trillion in infrastructure and staff development in public Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in last 10 years.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of TETFund, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam disclosed this while speaking at the third edition of Tax Payers Forum with the theme: “TETFUND Intervention: Catalyst for Transforming Tertiary Education in Nigeria” in Lagos.
Ibrahim-Imam stated that the agency is targeting more than N500 billion education tax collection by 2023, even as he promised to ensure that intervention to the beneficiary institutions be increased by 50 percent next year and 100 percent in two years.
He said, “In response to the challenges of acute shortage of hostels in Universities in the country, the Board of Trustee of TETfund has approved the construction of 160,000 additional bed spaces in the institutions across the country”.
Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, said the Tax Payers Forum served as the platform to honour and identify 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 percent education tax is remitted annually by companies through the FIRS to TETFund for allocation and onward disbursement to beneficiary institutions across the country.
“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,” he said.