CALABAR – The Board of Trustees of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) on Tuesday said it has approved direct disbursement of N135 billion to higher institutions in the country.
The Chairman of TETFund, Dr Musa Babayo, announced this at the 2014 Joint TETFund/Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) interactive forum in Calabar.
Babayo, who was represented by Mr Oladipo Suleiman of the Department of Corporate Planning and Development, said the figure represented 45 per cent increment from 2013 allocation to the beneficiary institutions.
“The increased allocation was made possible by the increase in the education tax collection in 2013,” he said.
The chairman also said that in 2013 the fund surpassed its target of N118 million by recording a total of N279 million from taxable companies.
Babayo said:“This indicates an increase of N161 million over the target set for the year.
“We are indeed grateful to the FIRS management and staff for this laudable achievement.”
In his remarks, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, said the relationship between TETFund and FIRS had increased the quality of teaching and learning in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Bogoro, who was represented by Malam Ahmed Babangida of ICT Department, said the fund had developed a five-year plan to deepen its focus on academic contents, quality and excellence.
According to him, the partnership with FIRS has also led to increase in annual allocation and the number of institutions that will benefit from the fund.
“For instance, from 157 institutions in 2010 to 183 public institutions in 2014, allocations to each university grew from N303 million in 2010 to N912 million in 2014.
“Likewise, allocations to polytechnics rose from N183 million in 2010 to N661 million in 2014.
“The Colleges of Education allocations also rose from N157 million in 2010 to N581 million in 2014,” he said.
Also speaking, Prof. James Epoke, the Vice- Chancellor, University of Calabar, said the university had risen from “its status of glorified secondary school to a glorious university through the TETFund interventions’’.
“I think TETFund has done extremely well.’’
Epoke said the university had improved on its infrastructural and human capital development through the fund’s intervention.
According to him, the university has so far received N3 billion intervention funds from TETFund.
He listed projects executed through TETFund intervention as construction of the institution’s senate chambers, facelift of its main gate, lecture halls and students’ hostels.
Others are laboratory facilities, sports facilities for the hosting of West African University Games, provision of transport services and ongoing construction works in the Faculty of Allied Laboratory Sciences. (NAN)