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Tinubu approves N683b tertiary institutions’ intervention fund

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N683,429,268 billion as the 2024 Iintervention funds for public tertiary education institutions in the country.

During the Fund’s strategic planning meeting with heads of beneficiary-institutions in Abuja on Friday, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Chief Sonny Echono said that from the total, 90.75 per cent was budgeted for direct disbursement and 8.94 per cent for some designated special projects. A stabilization of 2.27 per cent was allowed to enable the Fund respond to emerging issues.

For 2024 intervention cycle, he disclosed that each university would get N1,906,944,930.00, each polytechnic N1,165,355,235.00, while each College of Education would get N1,398,426,282.00.

This year’s intervention reportedly witnessed a boost as compared to last year, which saw the disbursement of over N320billion.

The 2023 intervention cycle saw each university receiving N1,154,732,133.00; Polytechnic – N699,344,867.00, while each College of Education got N800,862,602.

Echono said: “I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has approved the Year 2024 disbursement guidelines in the total sum of N683,429,268, 402.64. From this total, 90.75 per cent is budgeted for direct disbursement and 8.94 per cent for some designated special projects. A stabilization of 2.27 per cent is allowed to enable the Fund respond to emerging issues.

“This is inclusive of the difference between actual collections and the projections made for November and December 2023 collections as requested and approved by Mr. President.

“Based on this approval each University shall get, for the Year 2024 intervention cycle, the total sum of N1,906,944,930.00. This comprises N1,656,944,930.00 as annual direct disbursement and N250 million as zonal intervention. Similarly, each Polytechnic shall get N1,165,355,235.00 comprising of N1,015,355,235.00 as annual direct disbursement and N150million as zonal intervention, while each College of Education shall get N1,398,426,282.00 comprising of N1,248,426,282.00 as annual direct disbursement and N150million as zonal intervention.

“It is pertinent to note that this represents a very significant increase above our last year’s intervention and indeed every other year, since inception.

“This remarkable success is due to, sustained efforts at expanding and increasing the efficiency of collection of the Education Tax, and the gracious concurrence of Mr. President for an increase in the tax from 2.5per cent to 3.0per cent in the year 2023.

“We are grateful to all the key actors, notably the Minister of Education Prof. Tahir Mamman Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister for the Economy, the Chairmen and members of the Senate and House Committees on TETFund and the Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) for their unwavering support, towards the sustainably improvement of the collection”, he said.

He further said the meeting was also an avenue to receive feedback and evaluate the performance of the intervention lines, while calling on all heads of institutions to ensure the smooth, timely, judicious, and effective implementation and utilization of the year 2024 intervention allocation, to make the much-needed impact in the respective tertiary institutions.

“I also wish to advise that in addition to the broad based budget and project monitoring committee stated in your letter of allocation, you should consult widely with the community in the implementation of your TETFund projects.

“Furthermore, Heads of Institutions should ensure timely payments to contractors and vendors when due this will enable the proper completion of projects and mitigate the incidence of contractor writing letters of complaints to the Fund.

“I seize this opportunity to respectfully register our debt of gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR for his commitment to the development of Education in his Renewed Hope agenda and to Prof. Tahir Mamman (SAN), for his leadership, trust and prompt consideration of our requests,” he added.

According to Echono, the approved new intervention lines in the Annual Direct Disbursement include the establishment of Career Centers/Unit in all categories of beneficiary-institutions as well as the Institution Based Skills development for Polytechnics.

For the Special Direct Disbursements, he said it has increased the allocation for the Special High Impact Programme (SHIP), and the number of benefitting institutions has also been increased to two per geopolitical zone per category given a total of 36 beneficiary institutions.

Other areas of Special Direct Disbursement, he said, were provision for Hostels using the Public/Private Partnership arrangement, innovation hubs, Disaster Recovery, Security Infrastructure, Completion of abandoned projects and many others.

“In our bid to resolve the problems arising from the increase in exchange rates to our scholars, we have made provisions in the Year 2024 intervention to address the shortfall therein.

“We have sustained allocations for research including the National Research Fund, Research and Innovation Fund, Uptake of research findings to commercialization and supervision of scholars for PHD research.

“We have made provisions for four central multipurpose laboratories and additional provision for the three agricultural laboratories and demonstration farms initiated in 2023,” he stated.

On his part, the acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Zubairu Abdullahi, said there was a new hope and commitment from the president that everyone must key into it.

He urged stakeholders to redouble efforts to achieve President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda for the education sector.

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