The Academic Staff Union of Universities has called for the redistribution of the N320.3bn intervention fund approved by the Federal Government for tertiary institutions in the country.
The PUNCH reports that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had approved the sum of N320,345,040,835 as the 2023 intervention funds for public tertiary education institutions in the country.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday, during the Fund’s annual strategic planning workshop with all heads of beneficiary institutions.
Echono 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 the TETFund boss, the 2023 intervention cycle will see each university receiving N1,154,732,133.00; Polytechnic – N699,344,867.00, while each College of Education would get N800,862,602.
ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, called for the redistribution in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday.
He called for a redistribution of the fund to ensure that it accounts for 90% of what has been approved to go to universities, polytechnic and not kept as bureaucracy.
He said, “When you check the allocation of about N1.2 billion to universities and others, you find out that the total for all the universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education come to just about N186 billion allocated out of about N320, leaving a balance of N132 billion that has not been accounted for. What are we using that N132 billion which is 41% of the total amount of money? Is it for bureaucracy or for what?
“This is what has been happening in TETFund and I think there is a need to examine what exactly is happening at TETFund. The idea of this TETFund when it was negotiated by ASUU was that this money will come and be distributed to the universities, not keeping 41% for whatever purpose.
“I think we need a redistribution of this fund to ensure that it accounts for 90% of what has been approved to go to universities, polytechnic and not kept as bureaucracy or whatever. You need to tell the public what TETFund is doing with the balance of N132 billion,” he added.
Osodeke hailed the Federal Government for the approval of the fund.
“It (N320bn fund) is a good development, this is part of what we struggled for in 1994, it is our struggle, but there are issues we need to sort out,” Osodeke said.
However, he added that strike issues are not yet resolved.
The PUNCH reports that the ASUU boss disclosed the Federal Government was yet to meet the union’s demands since the lecturers called off strike in 2022.
He said after the union called off its eight-month strike, the Federal Government had not even called a meeting with the lecturers.
“As far as this present government is concerned, once the strike is over, the issue is resolved, unknown to them that a strike is a symptom of a problem. They have abandoned the problem. Since we called off the strike based on a court directive, not a single meeting has been called. Not a kobo has been paid,” Osodeke said.