EXECUTIVE secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, has expressed determination to end all forms of infractions in the utilisation of intervention funds allocated to beneficiary public institutions.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Baffa said the management of the fund under his watch had instituted strict monitoring mechanism to “follow the money” unlike in the past where allocations were released to institutions without proper evaluation, especially the intangible programmes.
He disclosed that the fund has conducted scholarship audit from 2008 up to 2018 and discovered a lot of gaps, and that measures had been taken to address such infractions.
Baffa noted that when he came on board as executive secretary of the fund, he discovered that some lecturers from beneficiary institutions collected money for scholarships for their postgraduate programmes and refused to go.
He said the audit report conducted indicated that a lot of them would collect the money for foreign training and end up doing the programme in Nigeria.
Such people, he said, have been made to refund the balance of such money collected knowing fully that the allocation for overseas scholarship is not the same with local scholarship.
He said, “I have a heap of files where we have recorded such recoveries. Some institutions do not go to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), like that of Kaduna Polytechnic, to recover the monies from lecturers.
“The management of the institutions are extracting their funds from their staff, and once the amount is paid, a copy of draft or cheque is sent to us to keep. What is important is we have identified a problem and we have solved the problem. Not again will any scholar collect TETFund scholarship and refuse to go, whether local or foreign scholarship.”
Baffa also decried the experience he had during the inauguration of some projects last year at the University of Ibadan, saying the story of projects performance from the premier university was not a good one after a technical committee visited the uncompleted projects.
“We visited UI and we were not happy with what we saw and we expressed our displeasure there and then. We made a commitment to send a special monitoring team. The team has visited UI to evaluate those projects and the report is almost ready. But the story is not a very good story,” Baffa said.
He maintained that the fund is determined to address every infraction made by tertiary institutions in the process of utilising the funds released to them for project execution.
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