By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government says it will soon set up visitation panels to all public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education (CoEs) to find out how the N727.2 billion allocated to the institutions by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and other funds provided by government in the last four years were utilised.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who made this known during a press briefing in Abuja over the weekend, said the move became necessary to address issue bordering on accountability in the execution of projects in the institutions.
His words: “May I at this juncture express the serious concern of the Federal Government over the lack of accountability in some of our tertiary institutions.
“Let me reiterate that the Federal Government will not fold its arms to watch public educational institutions funded from the public purse to flout the laws of public accountability.
“I want to put every stakeholder in this regard on notice, that, in the coming weeks, the Federal Ministry of Education under my watch will roll out visitation panels to all tertiary institutions to deal with this ugly phenomenon.”
He said the President Muhamadu Buhari led administration through TETFund allocated to public tertiary education institutions the over N727.2 billion within a period of four years to ensure critical areas of infrastructural development in the schools.
The minister listed some of the areas of intervention to include building of physical infrastructures, project maintenance, library development, academic staff training and development, research, among others.
While giving a breakdown of direct allocations to the various tertiary education institutions within the four years, the minister revealed that 74 universities received over N206.5 billion, N103.17 billion went to polytechnics while that of college of education stood at N101.6 billion.
On the issue of industrial crisis rocking the nation’s tertiary education sector, the minister revealed that the Federal Government has reached an accord with the various aggrieved unions to ensure that the issues that resulted in strike are fully resolved.
“I wish to sincerely commend the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) for calling off their strike to allow our children in Colleges of Education to get back to classes. Government will reciprocate this gesture by fulfilling all terms of agreement reached with COEASU.
“For ASUP, we have virtually resolved all issues as we await the Union to also call off their strike in the coming days….
“Similarly, the Government team has reached agreement with ASUU. It is my hope that academic activities will also resume in Universities campuses across the country without further delay,” the minister said.