President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the sum of N683,429,268 billion as the 2024 Intervention Funds for public tertiary education institutions in the country.
This year’s intervention witnessed a boost as compared to last year where over N320 billion was disbursed.
Echono said from the total, 90.75 per cent is budgeted for direct disbursement and 8.94 per cent for some designated special projects while a stabilisation 2.27 per cent is allowed to enable the Fund respond to emerging issues.
He said each iniversity will get, for the 2024 intervention cycle, the total sum of N1,906,944,930.00, each Polytechnic N1,165,355,235.00 while each College of Education shall get N1,398,426,282.00.
Recall that the 2023 intervention cycle saw each university receiving N1,154,732,133.00; Polytechnic – N699,344,867.00, while each College of Education got N800,862,602.
Echono said the approach is inclusive of the difference between actual collections and the projections made for November and December 2023 collections as requested and approved by the President.
He said, “Based on this approval: each university shall get, for the Year 2024 intervention cycle, the total sum of N1,906,944,930.00. This comprises N1,656,944,930.00 as annual direct disbursement and N250 million as zonal intervention.
“Similarly, each polytechnic shall get N1,165,355,235.00 comprising N1,015,355,235.00 as annual direct disbursement and N150 million as zonal intervention, while each College of Education shall get N1,398,426,282.00 comprising N1,248,426,282.00 as annual direct disbursement and N150 million as zonal intervention.
“It is pertinent to note that this represents a very significant increase above our last year’s intervention and indeed every other year, since inception.
“This remarkable success is due to sustained efforts at expanding and increasing the efficiency of collection of the Education Tax, and the gracious concurrence of Mr. President for an increase in the tax from 2.5 per cent to 3.0 per cent in the year 2023.”
Echono further said the meeting was also an avenue to receive feedback and evaluate the performance of their intervention lines, while calling on all heads of institutions to ensure the smooth, timely, judicious, and effective implementation and utilization of the year 2024 intervention allocation, to make the much-needed impact in our respective tertiary institutions.
“I also wish to advise that in addition to the broad based budget and project monitoring committee stated in your letter of allocation, you should consult widely with the community in the implementation of your TETFund projects,” he said.
He urged heads of institutions to ensure timely payments to contractors and vendors to enable the proper completion of projects and mitigate the incidence of contractor writing letters of complaints to the Fund.
While expressing gratitude to the President for his commitment to the development of education in his Renewed Hope agenda and to Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman (SAN), for his leadership, Echono said the approved new intervention lines in the Annual Direct Disbursement include the establishment of Career Centers/Unit, in all categories of beneficiary institutions as well as the Institution Based Skills development for polytechnics.
For the Special Direct Disbursements, he said TETFUND had increased the allocation for the Special High Impact Programme (SHIP), and the number of benefitting institutions had also been increased to two per geopolitical zone per category giving a total of 36 beneficiary institutions.
Other areas of Special Direct Disbursement, he said are provision for hostels using the Public/Private Partnership arrangement, innovation hubs, disaster recovery, security infrastructure, completion of abandoned projects and many others.
“In our bid to resolve the problems arising from the increase in exchange rates to our scholars, we have made provisions in the Year 2024 intervention to address the shortfall therein,” he noted.
Speaking, the acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Zubairu Abdullahi, said there is a new hope and commitment from the President that everyone must key into.
He urged stakeholders to redouble efforts to achieve President Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.