By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has set up a committee to verify projects awarded by TETfund from 2009 till date.
This was in view of the N208 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for 2019 TETFund allocation for public tertiary institutions.
NANS National President, Mr Danielson Akpan, made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.
Akpan said the committee was set up with a view to ascertaining the existence or not of such projects and to also discover institutions that were in the habit of diverting TETfund interventions or executing substandard projects.
According to him, Nigeria’s education sector over the years has been on the decline.
“The state of infrastructures in our campuses is nothing to write home about.
” Efforts by successive governments to address this obvious decline has met with sabotage by very many of the academic managers whose responsibility it is to ensure the development of our citadels of learning.
“This is no longer acceptable hence the need to do the needful, bearing in mind that funding is a major issue militating against the development and growth of our tertiary institutions.
” One cannot chide away from the fact that many agencies set up by government to intervene over the years have been doing so with alacrity, no doubt some of these agencies have performed abysmally.
“Sadly however, it has come to our knowledge that many beneficiaries of the agency have overtime sabotaged interventions against the very projects they applied to undertake,” he said.
Akpan added that:”It is time to come open to save the education sector and members from the continuous poor and lack of essential facilities on the campuses.
“Our investigation so far reveals that there is clear unexplainable diversion of funds meant for projects on our campuses.
“In many places where such projects are executed, they are either substandard or clearly abandoned. This unholy collaboration between school managements and contractors must stop.
“We can no longer accept substandard infrastructures or diversion of project funds meant for the revitalisation of our tertiary institutions.”
He thanked Buhari for the timely and well thought out decision of releasing the fund while calling on school managers to judiciously utilise, manage and appropriate the funds for the purposes it is meant for.
He also called for an increase in the current education tax of 2 per cent being remitted by corporate entities saying this is no longer sufficient to address myriads of problems in tertiary education sector.
“This is a reality we must all accept. We call on government to increase the education tax to 5 per cent from the current 2 per cent, just as it is in other climes.
“We have begun consultations on this and soonest, our advocacy on the increase in education tax shall reach all quarters,” he said.