by Usman Alabi
The federal government has approved the sum of N213.4 billion as 2016 intervention budget for the year 2017 intervention activities.
Dr Abdullahi Baffa, the executive secretary of the agency disclosed this at a news briefing in Abuja. He said each of the 40 federal universities and 34 state universities would receive N1.94 billion, while each 54 public polytechnics would get N691 million. He also disclosed that each of the 55 colleges of education would get N679 million. He described the budget as the biggest ever annual disbursement, given any beneficiary institution since the establishment of TETFund.
“In 2010 for example, each university was given N303 million; polytechnics were given N216 million, and colleges of education were given N157 million.
“In 2012, universities got N595 million, polytechnics N337 million and colleges of education N319 million; while in 2015, universities were given N337 million, polytechnics N250 million, and colleges of education N227 million.
“What was given this year shows more than three times what was allocated in the previous year,’’ he said.
Baffa further stated that in a bid to ensure that the institutions were manned by scholars that have terminal degrees, the fund had placed a high premium for them to have scholarships to study for higher degrees.
“That is why academic staff training and development is allocated N300 million for universities and N200 millin each for polytechnics and colleges of education.
Addressing the backlog of unutilized allocations as part of the internal control mechanism of the fund received greater attention. One of such measures according to him include the prevention of institutions from accessing a given intervention line until the previous year’s intervention is accessed, utilized and properly retired.
According to Baffa, majority of beneficiary institutions have backlog allocations from the previous year’s unutilized (unaccessed funds), saying the fund is establishing an Access Clinic that will interact with beneficiary institutions that are facing backlog challenges with a view to seeing how they can be assisted.