By Elizabeth Osayande
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved N320,345,040, 835 as the 2023 intervention funds for public universities and other tertiary education institutions in the country.
Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Sonny Echono, who disclosed this during the Fund’s annual strategic planning workshop with all heads of beneficiary institutions in Abuja yesterday, said the meeting was an avenue to receive feedback and evaluate the performance of its intervention lines to enhance a more robust delivery of the agency’s mandate.
According to him, the 2023 intervention cycle will see each university receiving N1,154,732,133.00; Polytechnic, N699,344,867.00; and College of Education, N800,862,602.
“I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has approved the 2023 disbursement guidelines in the total sum of N320,345,040, 835. Based on this, each university shall get, for the year 2023 intervention cycle, the total sum of N1,154,732,133.00.
“This comprises N954,732,123.00 as annual direct disbursement and N200 million as zonal intervention. Similarly, each Polytechnic shall get N699,344,867.00 comprising of N569,344,807.00 as annual direct disbursement and N130million as zonal intervention, while each college of education shall get N800,862,602, comprising N670,862,602.00 as annual direct disbursement and N130million as zonal intervention.
“It is pertinent to note that this represents the highest disbursement to each beneficiary institution, since the inception of the Fund,” Echono said.
He said the fortunes of the tertiary education sector in the country had improved significantly under Buhari’s administration.
He added that from 2015 to date, the total sum of N1.702 trillion had been disbursed as education tax collection to public universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education, compared to a total sum of N1.249trillion disbursed from the inception of the Fund in 1993 up to 2014 (21 years).
He added: “This remarkable success is due to sustained efforts at expanding and increasing the efficiency of collection of the Education Tax and added impetus is the gracious approval of Mr. President for an increase in education tax from 2.0% to 2.5% in the year 2021.”
The TETFund boss urged Buhari to, as a parting gift to the education sector, give his assent to Finance Bill 2023, which provides for a further increase in education tax from 2.5% to 3%.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, urged the beneficiary institutions to use the intervention judiciously.
He added that the country was no longer looking for paper presentations but what one could do with his brain and hands.