— Votes 70bn for varsity hostels
Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has over the weekend, rounded off its nationwide town hall meetings designed to sensitize stakeholders on the application of interventions with a disclosure that over N70billion have been earmarked for the construction of hostels for universities.
Speaking at Ahmed Bello University (ABU) Zaria, the venue for the North West zone of the stakeholder’s town hall meeting, the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr Nyesom Wike, assured the benefiting varsities that federal government will continue to work with them to address identified challenges such as improving their capacities to implement projects and the development of strategic plan for the utilization of TETFund intervention.
Wike said federal government in furtherance to access to education increased the budgetary allocation to federal tertiary institutions to N336billion adding that TETFund backs these up by providing complimentary financial support to tertiary institutions.
According to him, “in 2013, the number of institutions funded by TETFund increased from 164 to 177. As we know, TETFund funds all federal and state tertiary institutions. There has been consistent increase in allocations to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education”.
Federal government he said has also in the last four years made available N125billion as matching grants to support the development of infrastructure and resources in basic education.
Wike noted that the North East geo-political zone has the highest number of federal and state public tertiary institutions in the country and has been benefiting from greater investments from the government in the region.
Confirming the availability of the largess, National President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Isah Fagge said that the proposed release of N2billion for hostel construction to each Federal University in the country is part of the fallout of ASUU agreement with Federal Government after its last prolonged strike.
The release of the over N70billion from the TETFund is in support of the country’s drive to improve access and the quality of education in the country.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mal. Aliyu Na’iya said the meeting provided the platform for federal tertiary institutions in the zone to showcase the utilization and impact of interventions from TETFund.
He noted that the meeting which was the 6th in the series of the town hall meeting started at the University of Agriculture Makurdi on the 4th of March, all in the effort to let Nigerians see how the institutions in the country have been to utilise the funds available to them.