The Federal Government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has injected over N2.5 trillion in the development of infrastructure and staff development in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria in the last 10 years of establishing the Fund.
This was made known by the Chairman, Board of Trustees of TETFund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam during the 3rd Edition of the Fund’s Taxpayers’ Forum held in Lagos recently.
The Chairman also stated that the Fund is targeting more than N500 billion in education tax collection by 2023.
Also speaking at the event, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his deputy, Olufemi Hamzat, stated that funding for the education sector must be prioritized. He noted that TETFund was then established as a child of necessity to intervene in the ailing university system and that universities in Nigeria would have been worse than the current situation without TETFund.
He, therefore, appealed to private companies operating in Nigeria to be consistent in their remittances, while also charging TETFund to endeavour to create Silicon Valley for Nigeria and focus on how to take research to the market.
Minister of Education of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Pro-chancellor of University of Benin, Dr Sonny Kuku, commended the stakeholders for their contribution while assuring them of the determination of the Federal Government to transform the entire landscape of public tertiary education institutions in Nigeria.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, in his welcome address, said the Taxpayers Forum served as the platform to honour and identity individuals and companies that have made tremendous contributions to education through the consistent payment of education tax and have invariably contributed to the development of education and by extension that of the entire nation.
Prof. Bogoro noted that the education tax over the years has been channeled into different activities and areas in line with the mandate of the Fund as enshrined in the establishment Act.
He said: “Infrastructure has been given special attention in this regard, because of its decay and collapse across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria at the onset.
“A careful observation will reveal that the Fund has between January to December 2020 alone carried out 16,982 various infrastructure projects across beneficiary institutions.
“Considering the projects carried out since inception, based on annual allocation to institutions over the years 2011 to 2021, it is estimated that a total of over 152,838 various infrastructure projects have been carried out across various public tertiary institutions.
“These projects include construction of lecture theatres, classrooms, hostels, offices, laboratories, road networks and fencing of institutions in different parts of the country. Tertiary institutions across the country are dotted with TETFund projects which bear the insignia of the Fund distinctly inscribed on each project.
“Additionally, we have sponsored over 10,632 lecturers in the local Ph.D. program, over 9,072 lecturers in the local master’s degree programme across the country between 2011 and 2020.
“The Fund has also sponsored well over 4,485 lecturers to overseas institutions for Ph.D. programs and over 3,192 Master’s degree candidates also overseas, across tertiary institutions within the same period.
“The Fund has further supported 71,263 Lecturers in Federal and State Colleges of Education under its teacher supervision program, bringing to a total 98,644, the number of academic staff across public tertiary institutions that have benefited from the academic staff training and development programme of the Fund,” he said.