- Spends over N727bn in four years
- ADAKU ADIDNDU in Abuja•
The federal government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) said it released N16.8 billion to settle outstanding salary arrears of staff in the country’s tertiary institutions.
It further disclosed it has allocated a total of N727,225,862,128.86 worth of investment in critical areas of infrastructure development in Nigerian tertiary institutions in the last four years.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who disclosed this during the Sixth Edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja, said the intervention was for public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education from 2015 to date.
Adamu explained that the intervention was specifically for physical infrastructure, project maintenance, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support, entrepreneurship, library development, special high impact projects, research, academic staff training and development among others.
“Our focus for today’s briefing is on federal government’s intervention in critical areas of tertiary education in the life of the Buhari administration in the last four years.
“During the period under review, the federal government through the instrumentality of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) allocated a total of N727, 225,862,128.86 billion worth of investment in critical areas of infrastructural development in our tertiary institutions.
“Especially in physical infrastructure, project maintenance, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support, entrepreneurship, library development and special high impact projects, Academic Staff Training and Development, and Research among others.
A breakdown of the funding efforts by the federal government, according to the minister, indicates that in 2015, each public university, both federal and states, was allocated N337 million.
He said when multiplied by 74 universities that benefited, it gave the total allocation to public universities as N24.93 billion for that year.
“In 2016, each public university was allocated N1billion. Multiplied by 74 institutions, it brings the total allocation to public universities to N74.7 billion for year 2016.
“In 2017, each public university was allocated N659 million multiplied by 74 universities; you have the total allocation to public universities to N48.8 billion for 2017.
“In 2018, each public university in the country was allocated N785.8 million. Multiplied by 74 universities, it gives the total allocation to public universities to N58 billion for year 2018.”
The minister explained that the total allocations to public universities during the period under review stand at N206billion.
Similarly, Adamu said that in 2015, 50 polytechnics were allocated N250 million each amounting to N12.5 billion.
He also said, in 2016, the amount of N691,632,000 was allocated to each 54 polytechnics; amounting to N37 billion for all in that year.
“In 2017, N450.8 million each was allocated to 54 polytechnics, amounting to N24 billion.
“While in 2018, 54 polytechnics got N536.7 million each; amounting to N28.9 billion’’.
He said that the total allocation to polytechnics during the period under review was N103 billion.
Adamu, however, noted that state universities got a total allocation of N74.6 billion.
“Meanwhile, for the Colleges of Education, the total allocation during the period, stood at N101.6 billion.
He explained that a further breakdown showed that colleges of educations got N12 billion in 2015, N37 billion in 2016, N23.7 billion in 2017 and N28 billion in 2018.
The minister, therefore, expressed the concern of the government over the lack of accountability in some of the tertiary institutions.
He reiterated that that the federal government would not fold its arms to watch public educational institutions funded from the public purse to flout the laws of public accountability.
“I want to put every stakeholder in this regard on notice, that in the coming weeks, the Federal Ministry of Education under my watch will roll out visitation panels to all tertiary institutions to deal with this ugly phenomenon,” he said.
The government said it released N16.8 billion to settle outstanding salary arrears of staff in the country’s tertiary institutions.
Adamu said the disbursement is ongoing through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
The minister said the government had resolved all issues and awaits the academic unions to also call off their strike in the coming days, especially ASUU and ASUP.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has been on strike since December 12, while the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) started November 4
According to him, the federal government has reached agreement in the following areas: Review of Polytechnic Act; government awaits the transmittal of the amended document by the National Assembly to Mr. President for his assent.
Others, he said, were the revitalisation of polytechnics and colleges of education, renegotiation of the 2010 agreements, saying that government is committed to the revitalisation of facilities in its public tertiary institutions.
The minister also said that the government had directed the Minister of Finance to source for additional funding to the tune of N30 billion for the purpose, with particular reference to polytechnics and colleges of education.
“Also for state-owned polytechnics; the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has been directed to strengthen its regulatory mechanism including developing a new template for accreditation to address observed weaknesses.