By Elizabeth Daniyan
Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Sonny Echono has debunked an allegation of contract fraud levelled against him by an an online media platform.
Echono, in a statement, said the allegations were baseless, adding that those tarnishing his image were angry officials affected by his policies.
The publication by the online media dated July 20, and titled: “Disquiet in Nigeria Education Agency, TETFund over Contracts Fraud, Procurement Racketing, Others under New Head, Sonny Echono’’, alleged that he had turned TETFund into a fiefdom where contract splitting and padding was the order of the day.
But Echono, in the statement, said TETFund was not a contract awarding agency on behalf of beneficiary institutions.
He noted that the reference to contract splitting and padding were baseless and incomprehensible. Echono said the design and costing of projects were done by benefiting institutions.
“So also is supervision and management. TETFund only monitors milestone attainments ahead of releases in tranches…
“I have not personally issued any grant or letter to any beneficiary institution, but rather through technical departments responsible for each intervention area.
“It is worthy of note that part of reforms … include the need for curriculum review, skill acquisition/entrepreneurship, advancement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as deepening Research, Development and Innovation.
Among others, he said ‘’are provision of funds for capacity building of lecturers to equip them with requisite skills for entrepreneurial studies and research in digital technologies.’’