Sunny Echono, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), says the Fund recorded a drop in its consolidated revenue accrual to N68 billion in the 2021 fiscal year.
Echono was, however, delighted that TETFund’s interventions in public tertiary institutions were not negatively impacted in the 2022 fiscal year.
He spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a One-Day Meeting of the Heads of Beneficial Institutions in public tertiary institutions with the TETFund.
According to Echono, the revenue collection of the Fund dropped from N257billion to N189billion, adding that the drop in revenue amounted to N68billion.
He said that in spite of the drop, the Fund was able to move from N189 billion in 2021 to over N300 billion in 2022, noting that the increase in the collection was expected to increase disbursement to beneficiary institutions in 2023.
“We received N257 billion in 2021 to only N189 billion, which is a deficit or shortfall of N68 billion in revenue and this has impacted on what you get from us,” he said.
“Yet, I am pleased to report that despite this challenge, in the last eight months, we have disbursed more Funds to you than any year in the establishment of the fund.”
“Our primary duty is a disbursement agency, and we are expected to ensure that this is done judiciously for funding projects in the various institutions,” he said.
Echono, however, noted that given President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to increased funding for education, and with the support of the National Assembly, the tax rate was increased from 2 to 2.5 per cent.
According to him, this is a deliberate effort to mobilise resources for the fund.
The TETFund boss also expressed concern in research intervention lines while revealing, from available data, that the nation was yet to benefit significantly from the desired impact of the intervention line.
He said the meeting would consider new pathways to achieving greater impact on the various research and development interventions.
“We are also, for the first time adopting the bottom-up approach to the budgeting process for the year 2023 intervention cycle.
“As beneficiaries and institutions that execute the intervention lines, we will appreciate your inputs and suggestions for better delivery of the intervention budget,” he said.
Echono also said that the 2022 zonal intervention would focus on improving and expanding its ICT capabilities to catch up with the rest of the world in the ICT space for needed national development.
He added that the fund was also reviewing its processes for enhanced and better service delivery to the beneficiary institution while also focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation hubs for hands-on training.
“We are currently re-working our 2007 edition of Guidelines for Disbursement and will make it available to you when completed.
“We have also done some internal auditing of our staff to achieve better efficiency in the deployment to various departments of the Fund.
We also requested you to do the same concerning TETFund Desk Officers, and a summary of our expectations will also be presented at this forum,” he said.