TETFUND considers suspending foreign training for staff, students
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has said that it is considering suspending foreign training for members of staff and students.
The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Sonny Echono, made this known on Wednesday at a One-Day Stakeholders’ Engagement on Emerging Issues with the TETFund Intervention in Abuja.
Echono said such training could stop because the recent policy initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had created difficulties in the payment of foreign scholarships, tuition fees, and stipends.
According to him, the funds’ allocation was barely enough to service programmes under its Tertiary Scholarship for Academic Staff (TSAS).
As a result, TETFUND is considering suspending foreign scholarships while also looking at the possibility of an upward review of local scholarships.
“The fund at this material time is also discouraging beneficiary institutions from initiating new Benchwork programmes,” Echono said.
“Additionally, there are issues related to scholars not returning to serve their bonds at their home institutions upon completion of their programmes.
“Infact, the challenge of scholars absconding has undermined and complicated the TSAS programme and brought it under intense scrutiny.
“It is for these and other reasons that this engagement was organised. We need to address these challenges and find solutions to ensure the effective and smooth implementation of our scholarship programmes,” he said.
Echono had on Tuesday while appearing at an investigative hearing organised by a House of Representatives ad hoc committee said that the current foreign exchange situation makes it impossible to continue the sponsorship of students overseas.
The House Committee is investigating the alleged mismanagement of over N24 trillion by TETFUND.
“The money we allocated in naira cannot cover the dollar requirement for training,” he told the House of Reps.
“For those who are currently there, we now need more naira to pay for the dollar that is required for their annual fees. We are trying to put a hold on it.
“Most of our trainings now will be done locally through our experienced, first-generation universities and other specialized universities based here.
“This way, we can retain our resources in house and cope with the change in foreign exchange rates.”
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