Nigeria’s public tertiary institutions received N951bn as direct intervention funds in five years, findings by The PUNCH have shown.
This is according to an analysis of media reports showing amounts disbursed by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund from 2019 to 2023.
The funds approved by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for beneficiary institutions every year, were to support academic staff training, development, and the maintenance of educational standards in the institutions.
The funds also focus on providing essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning, support research and publication, and instructional materials and equipment.
Analysis showed that N208bn was disbursed to the institutions in 2019 while N292.7bn and N130bn were distributed in 2021 and 2022, respectively. N320.3bn represented the highest single disbursement released in 2023.
However, there was no available data for intervention funds released in 2020.
Despite the funding, educationists have said the lack of proper management of the funds has hindered the grant’s impact on the institutions.
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview with The PUNCH, said any vice-chancellor who misappropriates the grant given to their institution by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund deserved to be in jail.
He said the Federal Government should set up a panel to enquire into the utility of such funds, noting that several TETFund projects were implemented late due to the lack of proper management of the funds.
“You don’t need to hold the university, students, and parents responsible, hold the vice-chancellors responsible to explain why they cannot retire the funds, and if they didn’t do what they should do, jail them. The university’s money is put somewhere and the value is reduced and even if the VC mismanages the fund, Nigeria’s money is wasted.”