Supervising Minister of Education, Barrister Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday expressed displeasure over why government-owned tertiary institutions in the country have failed to access their grant with Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund).
An inside source in Tetfund disclosed that only a few universities had as at last week accessed their fund with Tetfund.
University of Lagos with N4.3 billion unacessed, University of Calabar with N4.2 billion and Anambra State University with N4.1 billion the list of universities that have failed to make use of the available funds under the programme.
Speaking in Abuja at the meeting with Pro-Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of Federal and State universities, the Minister said that universities managements lack the moral ground to complain of lack of fund when they have funds with Tetfund lying fallow.
The Minister who wondered why institutions “would cry that they lack adequate funding” while they have funds due to them un-accessed lamented that about N73.87billion which ought to have been disbursed to them remain un-accessed.
Out of this amount, Barrister Wike disclosed that N35 billion, representing 47 per cent of the total amount is due to universities while funds un-accessed by polytechnics is estimated at N16 billion, representing 21 per cent while those for Colleges of Education stand at 12 billion or 16 per cent of the unused funds.
His words: ” As we discuss the funding of tertiary education in Nigeria, there is one source of concern: many Nigerian universities have not accessed funds due to them at Tetfund.
“As at June ending, information available to me indicates that about N73.87billion which should have been disbursed to tertiary institutions remain un-accessed for one reason or the other.
“A question that I want to pose, for which answer must be provided has to do with why institutions would cry that they lack adequate funding and at the same time have funds due to them.
“I have directed that the specifics of the institutions with outstanding funds be provided to me. The National Universities Commission and Tetfund should provide more details of these institutions”
He however set up a seven-man committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Dr. McJohn Nwabiala, to see to how universities would access the fallow funds.
The committee, which has seven days to work and submit its report, would look into the impediments and grey areas in accessing Tetfund grant.
The other universities that have failed to access funds include, Universities of Benin with N1.6 billion; University of Ibadan with N2.7 billion; Ahmadu Bello University (N2.2 billion), University of Maiduguri (N1.1 billion), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (N2.8 billion), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (N2 billion), Bayero University, Kano (N2.3 billion) Federal University of Technology, Owerri (N1.6 billion), University of Jos (N3 billion), University of Port Harcourt (N3 billion) and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife (N2 billion).
The others are: Niger Delta University (N2.2 billion), Usman Dan Fodio University (N2.8 billion), Anambra State University (N4.1 billion), University of Markurdi (N2.3 billion), Federal University Technology (Yola N2.8 billion), Kebbi State University (N2.8 billion), University of Lagos (N4.3 billion), University of Calabar (N4.3 billion) and Nigeria Defense Academy (N472 million).