President Muhammadu Buhari has scrapped the Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s special intervention funds for 2017 allocated to tertiary institutions across the country.
This disclosure was made by Abdullahi Baffa, TETFund Executive Secretary, in a chat with newsmen in Abuja.
Baffa recalled that government had approved N213.4 billion for the schools for 2016.
He said the money had not been used yet and since the releases and utilisation of the funds were to be done in 2017, President Buhari directed that the amount earmarked for same purposes in 2017 budget be expunged.
“In 2015, over N200 billion was recklessly disbursed as special interventions to some few beneficiary institutions which is against the law which says all institutions must be treated equal, while N50 billion only was shared among all institutions as normal interventions”, he said.
Baffa said the agency was still battling “with people who are parading themselves as vendors trying to buy, sell and deal with allocation letters.
“They now turn special intervention into trade, people running around with allocation letters looking for buyers. We said we are not going to do that. We are going to put the institutions first. Our clients are the beneficiary institutions.
“We can’t afford to allow those who are entrusted to the business of keeping the fund to be the very ones abusing the fund mercilessly.
“We thank God it’s not going to be buried under the carpet, we are going to pursue that this recklessness be investigated and that any wrongdoing and any misapplication be brought to book.
“The allocation for 2016 is more than three times what was given in 2015 because we did not allow the old way of doing things to continue.
“The magic in our ability to triple what beneficiary institutions were given is simple; while the previous board of the trustees took 80 percent in 2015 and allocated it to special interventions and used only 20 percent for normal intervention, we refuse doing that.
“We used about 80 percent as normal intervention and the remaining 20 percent as what we have to use to pay the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, what we have to keep in the fund and what we have to keep for high impact interventions we are doing in places.
“We are appreciative of the president who support our opinion; the president has insisted that the culture of special intervention should be reviewed, that is why we are not talking about special interventions.
“We are concentrating on normal intervention and what impact can we make through it. Special interventions should be meant for special cases like new projects, victims of fire incidents schools, among others.”