By Favour Ukabiala/ Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja, – The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) said it received a shortfall of N68 billion in its revenue collection for 2021 used for its operations in the 2022 fiscal year.The Executive Secretary of the fund, Mr Sonny Echono, disclosed this at a One-Day Meeting of the Heads of Beneficial Institutions in public tertiary institutions with the TETFund.Echono said that the revenue collection of the fund had dropped from N257bn to N189bn, adding that the drop in revenue amounted to N68bn.He, therefore, said that in spite of the drop, the fund was able to move from the N189 billion in 2021 to over N300 billion in 2022, adding that the increase in collection was expected to increase disbursement to beneficiary institutions in 2023.” Our collections yield to our disbursement to you. We received N257billion in 2021 to only N189 billion which is a deficit or shortfall of N68 billion in revenue and this has impacted on what you get from us.” Yet, I am pleased to report that despite this challenge, in the last eight months, we have disbursed more finds to you than any year in the establishment of the fund.” Our primary duty is actually a disbursement agency and we are expected to ensure that this is done judiciously for the purposes of funding projects in the various institutions,” he said.Echono, however, noted that given President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to increased funding for education, and with the support of the National Assembly, the tax rate was increased from 2 to 2.5 per cent.According to him, this is a deliberate effort at mobilising resources for the fund.
The executive secretary expressed concern in the area of research intervention lines, while revealing, from available data, that the nation was yet to benefit significantly from the desired impact of the intervention line.
He said that the meeting would be considering new pathways to achieving greater impact on the various research and development interventions.
” We are also for the first time adopting the bottom-up approach to the budgeting process for the year 2023 intervention cycle.
“As beneficiaries and institutions that execute the intervention lines, we will appreciate your inputs and suggestions for better delivery of the intervention budget,” he said.
Echono also said that the 2022 zonal intervention would focus on improving and expanding its ICT capabilities, to catch up with the rest of the world in the ICT space for needed national development.
He added that the fund was also reviewing its processes for enhanced and better services delivery to beneficiary institution, while also focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation hub for hands-on training.
“We are currently re-working our 2007 edition of Guidelines for Disbursement and will make it available to you, when completed.
” We have also done some internal auditing of our staff to achieve better efficiency in the deployment to various departments of the Fund.
” We also requested you to do the same with respect to TETFund Desk Officers and a summary of our expectation will also be presented at this forum,” he said. (NAN)