By Florence Ugbem
The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arch. Sunny Echono has revealed that beneficiary institutions across the country have accessed over 400 billion naira in 2023.
Arch. Echono made the revelation Last Monday at the TETfund Management Retreat held at Eyah Hotel and Suites, Makurdi.
He explained that over 320 billion naira which is the approved disbursement for the 2023 interventions has been disbursed to beneficiary institutions, adding that TETFund exceeded that amount due to accessing of backlog of allocation to beneficiary institutions.
“I’m also pleased to report that to date, beneficiary institutions have accessed more than 320 billion naira. So far, this year we have accessed over 400 billion naira and disbursed to our higher institutions”, he said.
He further revealed that, “The reason is we still have a backlog of allocation in previous years that some institutions have not accessed but because we’ve streamlined the process and created avenues to assist these institutions in accessing their backlog, that number has grown and we have exceeded the funds and we are in the neighbourhood of about 400 billion naira that we have disbursed to our institutions this year”.
He stressed that funds disbursed this year are far more than the budget because most of the outstanding allocation is now been accessed, adding that all bottlenecks are been removed for beneficiary institutions to access to complete uncompleted projects in their institutions.
Speaking to newsmen at the ongoing retreat, Arch. Echono stated that the retreat was held to review their performance in 2023 and also take new bearings for what they intend to do in 2024, noting that a very significant part of the retreat was for TETFund to get feedback from the various beneficiary institutions and also to identify areas where they can improve or look into.
He stressed that Benue State has been a key beneficiary of TETFund interventions and that the additional government tertiary institution in the state has been enlisted and will begin to benefit from the organisation in 2024, saying he will pay a needs assessment visit to Federal Polytechnic Wanunne and James Akperan Orshi Polytechnic.
In an interview with newsmen, the Rector, Nigeria Army College of Environmental Science and Technology, Makurdi, Major General Umar Nasiru Babangida, who was represented by Lt. Colonel Umar Idris Jafaru, maintained that it was a great opportunity to benefit from TETFund intervention, noting that TETFund had done a lot for the institution which has transformed the institution.
He further revealed that in the area of staff training, TETFund has been able to train over 50 staff of the institution at various levels ranging from master’s degrees to PhD levels, adding that TETFund also intervened in various military institutions such as the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and the Nigerian College of Military Education in Ilorin, also they have received interventions in ICT and equipping of the library and sponsoring of academic staff research.