The Federal Government has ruled out giving grants from the Tertiary Education Trust Funds to private institutions just as it will spend about N3bn for high impact researches in federal and state higher institutions.
The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Funds, Abdullahi Baffa, stated this in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.
Baffa said the organisation had allocated N15 million to lecturers in the universities and N10m to polytechnics and colleges of education counterparts to fund their researches.
According to him, funds from TETFUND are research grants awarded to qualified scholars who participate in rigorous process of screening, after sending their proposals.
Baffa said TETFUND was determined to support cutting edge research that would the fortune of Nigeria.
He said, “Research is one of the core mandates of the fund; the fund is supposed to bridge the infrastructural gap in our public tertiary institutions. About N3bn has been earmarked to support the high impact research at the National Research Fund level.
“We have been supporting research institutions, where we can allocate up to N15m for academics in the universities and up to N10m to academics in polytechnics and colleges of education.
“Such researches would increase our production and improve our efficiency and ease the lives of our citizens. The more we research the more we industrialise the country. And the more we create more jobs.”
According to him, the Act establishing TETFUND does not allow private tertiary institutions to benefit from the fund.
Baffa said, “The TETFund Act 2011 as amended is explicitly clear. It has mentioned the beneficiary institutions, it has listed them; public universities – state and federal, public polytechnics – state and federal, and public colleges of education – state and federal.
“Anything outside these 202 public tertiary institutions is outside the mandate of TETFund so there is no any plan to extend this intervention to private tertiary institutions and for this fund to continue to be making the impact it is making on our higher education landscape, we will need to further concentrate on the intervention.
“That is why the government in its wisdom in the past changed the Act to concentrate the intervention into higher education rather than the entire education landscape. Primary and secondary are excluded so that the impact is not diluted.
“So there is no plan at the moment because the law does not allow us to give our intervention to any institution other than the ones listed in the Acts.
“There are public tertiary institutions that are not beneficiaries because the Act also defines who are the public tertiary institutions that should benefit from it. Even if it is going to be reviewed, for me. I will not subscribe to the idea of taking public funds to private investments.”
He also promised that TETFUND would go after companies operating in Nigeria without paying their education tax.
Baffa said, “There are still so many companies operating in Nigeria that are not remitting their education tax and we are going to continue to pursue the compliance of companies to pay these taxes. I believe that will beef up the revenue base of the fund.”