Friday, 9th June 2023

How Buhari recovers stolen funds in TETFund, boost intervention in tertiary institutions, says Senator Barau

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
24 September 2022   |   2:37 am
Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibril has applauded the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the immediate rescue of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) from total collapse.

[FILES] President Muhammadu Buhari. Photo/FACEBOOK/TheAsoVilla

Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibril has applauded the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for immediate rescue of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) from total collapse.

Jibril, representing Kano North senatorial district, who revealed the recovery of several billions of naira allegedly diverted from the coffers of TETFund by the previous administration, disclosed that the agency would have rendered incapacitated if not for the intervention of the present government.

The senator who made the revelation at the unveiling of TETFund-sponsored projects at the Federal College of Education (FCE), Kano at the weekend, said the stolen resources allegedly diverted for projects outside the statutory mandate of the fund, are being recovered from the culprits.

“There is a certain amount of money stolen from TETFund by the previous administration. The monies were diverted for use outside education. When this government came, the president insisted that the monies should be returned and used appropriately. As we speak, the money is not completely paid but is being paid back to the coffers of the Federal Government every year.

“Now it is these same resources that have afforded TETFund to carry out her mandate effectively and render the required intervention across tertiary institutions in the country adequately. As you can see infrastructural development like these very ones we are about to commission in FCE Kano, working in action. A very big kudos to the President and commendation to the leadership of TETFund under the Executive Secretary, Arc. Sunday Echono, for the foresight and wonderful job. We can see the quality of the infrastructure and well-designed architectural work,” Jibril noted.

The senator, who led the Federal Government delegation and represented President Muhammadu Buhari in the project commissioning, said the National Assembly was working hard to return the four oldest colleges of education back to full-fledged universities of education.

According to him, the colleges include Federal College of Education, FCE Kano, Yaba College of Education, Yaba, Lagos, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, and Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.

Echono had disclosed that the four building block projects completed in 2022 were executed under the years 2015/2018 merged annual intervention at a total cost of N759.53 million.

He explained that TETFund has heavily invested in the provision of requisite infrastructure meant to aid teaching, learning, and research in the nation’s public tertiary institutions spread all over the country.

The completed projects include the Acculturation centre; expansion for the school of secondary education, art, and social sciences; Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, and School of Adult Special and non-formal Education.

“TETFund as an interventionist agency has ensured equity in the allocation of funds to the three tiers of its beneficiaries in line with the enabling laws governing the activities of the agency. Considering the large volume of such infrastructure, the fund though is best to showcase the achievements of this government through the commissioning of iconic projects being completed by our beneficiary institutions, as an attestation to the commitment of the government to ensuring that our institutions attain high global ranking in the delivery of academic content within a conducive environment.”

Represented by Babatunde Olajide, TETFund Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Echono who lauded the management of the college for ensuring delivery of quality projects while sticking substantially to the delivery approved fund of the projects, urged for proper utilisation and maintenance of the facilities to serve generations coming to acquire learning in the citadel.

Also applauding the intervention of TETFund under the tutelage of Echono, Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Professor Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle, emphasised that colleges of education in the country have received a fair share of intervention emanating from TETFund.

Okwelle noted that besides the infrastructural intervention, the fund has invested heavily in the human capacity of lectures in the colleges.

“TETFund has been so relevant to the facilitation of our core mandate to train quality teachers because apart from the area of infrastructural development, TETFund is also investing in human capacity development, making sure our lecturers are sponsored for training, and academic progression both in the short term and long time training. It is really tremendous.

“I’m a member of the board of the fund and I can assure you that the interest of the colleges of education is being protected as you can see today in the Federal College of Education Kano and other colleges across the country. Our position is to make sure what is due to the colleges of education is rightly positioned and offered to the colleges and like what is obtainable so far, the colleges of education have not been short-changed. We are getting what is due to us from the federal government through TETFund,” Okwelle noted.

Chairman, governing council of FCE, Kano, Alh. Abdulmaliq Mahmoud, who assured the Federal Government on behalf of the college management of judicious utilisation of the facilities, however, wanted TETFund to consider proposals for additional intervention because of increasing infrastructural demands.

Mahmoud said with over 34,000 returning students, FCE Kano has the human capacity to run as a full fledged university of education.

According to him, “The hallmark of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s project is to ensure projects approved with monies released are executed adequately and not abandoned for obvious reasons.

“We have seen it from the instance of the TETFund sponsored projects here in Kano.

“We do not allow any possible shortchange by the contractors. We make sure the project executed was according to the specification. For this we want to thank the President and the management of TETFund and the college community for their cordial and mutual relationship,” Mahmoud stated.

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