Aminu Suleiman Goro, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, says tertiary institutions in Nigeria would have been mere glorified secondary schools without Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) interventions.
Goro who stated this at the University of Maiduguri, when Abdullahi Baffa, Executive Secretary of (TETFund) commissioned the ultra-modern President Muhammadu Buhari Senate Building at the University, noted that the clamour for upward review of accruable Education Tax to TETFund is justified given what was seen at the university.
According to the lawmaker who also commissioned the Senate Chambers of the university, projects that are sited on the campus of the University of Maiduguri through the intervention of TETFund were a clear picture of what judicious utilization of public fund should be in Nigeria.
“Over the years I have had the privilege of visiting, inspecting and commissioning public buildings, if you will not accuse me of sentiment or being bias, I want to say the clamour for upward review of the percentage that is accruable to TETFund needs to be reviewed upward. For over two years, we have been debating, there is a huge resistance from other demanding sectors that we should not increase provision for TETFund.
“But everyone needs to know that TETFund has justified the call for upward review, there is no two ways about it, we all agree that without TETFund, our tertiary institutions would have just been glorified secondary schools. We have seen what judicious use of public funds is all about and I think everyone should join us in the clamour” he said
Speaking while commissioning the projects, Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, Executive Secretary of TETFund, revealed that from 1999 till date, over N12billion has been allocated to the University of Maiduguri, out of which the university has accessed over N11billion and used same for various projects including the ones that were commissioned.
Describing the university as one of the top notch in terms of beneficiary institutions that access TETFund intervention quickly, Dr. Baffa lamented that some institutions still have allocations for several years waiting for them at TETFund while University of Maiduguri has accessed up to the 2016 allocation already.
He used the opportunity to inform the university community of the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for TETFund to support the Regional Centre in Research and Production of Knowledge to Counter Violent Extremism at the University of Maiduguri.
Other projects commissioned by Dr. Baffa aside the President Muhammadu Buhari ultra-modern multi-billion Senate Building are the Centre for Instructional Technology; Veterinary Teaching Hospital Complex; and 2,200 Seat Capacity Mega Lecture Halls Complex.
In his response, Ibrahim Njodi, Vice Chancellor of the University, said the coming of the Executive Secretary, the Chairman House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services as well as others was a clear testimony of confidence in the council and management of the University as well as the commitment to the realization of the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari in the development of tertiary education in Nigeria.
“This great occasion coincides with the significant improvement in the security of our host community, following intensive efforts by the Federal Government, especially the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies in dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency.
“We have long decided under the guidance of Senate, CPDD and Management to sustain the University on an uninterrupted academic calendar, despite the devastating impact of the insurgency in the north east sub-region, Maiduguri in particular. Consequently, the University has maintained stable academic activities and services without break since 2009” the Vice Chancellor added.
The TETFund team for the commissioning exercise led by the Executive Secretary include the Director, Corporate Planning and Development, Dr. Jacob Alada, Director Human Resource Management, Mallam Umar Bukar, Ag. Head of Project Management Department, Mal. Buhari Mikailu, Personal Assistants to the Executive Secretary, Mallam Mohammed Kaamil Ali-Jos, Alh. Umar Gwadabe and other staff of the Fund.