The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has questioned the distribution of the N320.3 billion just released by the Federal Government for tertiary institutions in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono, on Wednesday announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N320.3 billion for the 2023 intervention for public tertiary institutions. The 2023 intervention cycle will see each university receiving N1,154,732,133.00; polytechnic – N699,344,867.00, while each college of education would get N800,862,602.
However, in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday, ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, while commending the government for the fund release, asked for redistribution of the fund to ensure 90% goes to the tertiary institutions.
“It (N320bn fund) is a good development, this is part of what we struggle for in 1994, it is our struggle, but there are issues we need to sort out,” Osodeke said.
When you check the allocation of about N1.2 billion to universities and others, you find out that the total for all the universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education come to just about N186 billion allocated out of about N320, leaving a balance of N132 billion that has not been accounted for. What are we using that N132 billion which is 41% of the total amount of money? Is it for bureaucracy or for what?
“This is what has been happening in TETFund and I think there is a need to examine what exactly is happening at TETFund. The idea of this TETFund when it was negotiated by ASUU was that this money will come and be distributed to the universities, not keeping 41% for whatever purpose.
“I think we need a redistribution of this fund to ensure that it accounts for 90% of what has been approved to go to universities, polytechnic and not kept as bureaucracy or whatever. You need to tell the public what TETFund is doing with the balance of N132 billion,” he added.
Osodeke also lamented that since the university lecturers union called off its strike that lasted for about nine months, the government has never called them for any meeting, saying that most of the issues that caused the strike are still not sorted out.