By Felix Khanoba
Almost nine months after the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, inaugurated a committee to assess projects executed by the agency, Nigerians are still awaiting the report of the exercise.
The 62-man committee was inaugurated in September 2019 to carry out an impact assessment of TETFund’s intervention activities in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education from 1999 to 2018.
The committee, christened ‘Technical Advisory Committee on Impact Assessment’ (TACIA), was given 29, November 2019 as deadline to submit its findings.
Between 2011 and 2015 alone, about N500 billion was said to have been expended by TETFund on various intervention projects while in 2016 over N213 billion was allocated to 183 beneficiary institutions.
The delay in releasing the committee’s report on the impact of such spending in beneficiary institutions is now drawing the anger of some Nigerians.
A stakeholder in the tertiary education sector, John Oche, said several Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the committee report to ascertain if such huge amount translated to “what is on ground in the institutions”, even as he made case for the inclusion of private universities in TETFund’s intervention projects.
He warned that the continued delay in making the findings of the committee known to the public will erode the ‘confidence’ reposed in TETFund.
“TETFund’s Executive Secretary made it a point of duty by announcing the composition of the committee to the public. What is now delaying the report? The committee should submit its report if it has not done so and make it available to the public through TETFund. All the stakeholders will learn from it,” he said.
Another Nigerian, Femi Ojo, called on the Prof. Nazifi Darma led committee, which was co-chaired by Prof. Placid Njoku, now Imo State deputy governor, not to be discouraged from making its findings public irrespective of what it unearthed in the assignment.
But in a chat with The AUTHORITY, an insider in TETFund, who craved anonymity, said the delay in getting the committee’s report might not be unconnected with the challenging nature of the task.
“Don’t you think if they had submitted the report TETFund would have released it? TETFund has more than 13 or 14 intervention lines, it is a huge job, academic staff training, research, conference attendance, and many more.
“It is a tremendous job the committee is doing and it requires time. It is not something you just rush and do a report.
“TETFund set up a committee to assess itself, so why would it hide such a report?” he queried.