The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arch. Sonny Echono has commended the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions on the level of support for which has led to some level of transformations in the fund for the last seven years.
Echono who disclosed this in Abuja while receiving the members of the committee who were on oversight function to the Fund noted that the harmony between the National Assembly was largely responsible for the breakthrough of the Agency over the years.
The TETFUND Boss further expressed gratitude to National Assembly for considering and passed the finance Act last year as the percentage was increased from 2% to 2.5%,
“It was based on the consultation and shared acceptance on the need to increase funding and investment on education. Having regard to the period under review, in 2021, our total education tax receipt amounted to N257 billion”, he said.
“The actual collection in 2020 was N257 billion which are utilized for 2021 intervention. Unfortunately, last year this figure called sharply to N189.5 billion resulting in reduced collection of over N68 billion which is what we are operating with this year”.
He told the committee that the Vaccine Development efforts of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) have started yielding visible results as the COVID-19 vaccine project sponsored by the Fund would be ready for the first clinical trial in November this year.
It would be recalled that the project, which is a mega research grant intervention tagged ‘Accelerated Development of COVID-19 Vaccines Using Innovative Technological Approach’ is a collaborative effort involving cluster researchers from five different institutions to consolidate problem-solving research and promote innovation in Nigeria.
TETFund awarded a total of N1,250,000,000.00, distributed to four clusters of researchers and one of the clusters, which is the Vaccine Production Cluster, got a total grant of N450,000,000.
In his response, the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Ahmed Kaita said the purpose of visit was to get brief on the 2021/2022 budget and having known the Executive secretary to be a performer extra-ordinary,,it of the believe that he had brought that to bear with the little time at the agency.
“Upon the enactment of 2022 appropriate Act, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria resolved that committee embark on oversight visit on the MDAs under them”.
“TETFUND as you know is an intervention agency set to provide supplementary support to all tertiary institutions with the main objective of using funding alongside project management for rehabilitation, restoration and consolidation of Tertiary Education in Nigeria”.
According to him, “having listening to the presentation by the Executive Secretary on the activities of the agency, and with records on our hands, we will go back and study them and get back to them where necessary.”
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