Connect with us

Features

TETFund: Imperatives for efficiency-driven reforms

Published

on

  TETFund Imperatives for efficiency driven reforms TETFund Imperatives for efficiency driven reforms By Uche Anunne News Agency of Nigeria Appropriate funding of tertiary education remains a major challenge for many countries particularly developing ones In addition to personnel emoluments and building of infrastructure the university system requires enormous financial resources to meet its research funding demands and contribute more to more meaning socio economic growth of nations To address this challenge and following an agreement with university lecturers on adequate funding of universities the Federal Government in 1993 established the Education Tax Fund ETF through the Education Tax Decree No 7 of 1993 Act as an intervention agency The Act stipulates that two per cent tax shall be charged on assessable profit of a companies registered in Nigeria as may be ascertained in the manner specified in the Companies and Income Tax Act of the Petroleum Profits Act It also gives the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS the mandate to assess and collect the tax from the companies In 2011 through Act No 18 ETF morphed into Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFund with its responsibilities refocused to intervene only in public tertiary institutions namely universities polytechnics and colleges of education But in spite the change in nomenclature and scope of intervention the core responsibilities remain to provide the much needed funding support for tertiary education as well as award of scholarships research grants with a view to improving the quality of research outcomes by Nigerian scholars As TETFund s responsibilities become more complex in the face of expanding demands for its resources vis vis finances that are not growing in the same geometric progression some stakeholders argue that it has become important for reforms in the intervention agency to enable it maximize its capital for optimum impact on Nigeria s tertiary education system One of the major areas that require urgent reform is the management of the Fund As presently constituted the TETFund Board of Trustees is made of mainly politicians appointed from the six geo political zones by the Federal Government This is in addition to the Executive Secretary of the Fund Also on the board are political appointees who head different parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Education namely the National Universities Commission NUC the National Board for Technical Education NBTE National Commission for Colleges of Education NCCE and nominees by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Education As presently constituted observers say it would be difficult for the intervention agency to function effectively without politicians interference They also argue that its present Board is also a radical departure from the 1992 ASUU FG agreement on the funding of universities which gave birth to the Fund The agreement provided that having suggested the establishment of the Fund ASUU should be involved in its management In a report published in the October 7 2019 edition of Premium Times the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative NEITI posited that there was unnecessary political control and interference by state governors in the execution of the TETFund funded projects in their respective states Similarly Prof Hussaini Tukur said the Board of Trustees of TETFund should be one that inspires confidence in the award of research grants and other operations of the agency He said it was not in the interest of the education system for politicians to dominate the membership of the board saying in most instances politicians interest are paramount in their actions Tukur a lecturer in the department of Public Administration Nasarawa State University Keffi said even when geo political zones are involved in constituting the board it is imperative that such nominees should be seasoned academics so that they can bring their academic experience to bear in the running of the agency Tukur also contended that the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU Nigeria Labour Congress NLC should have representatives on the Board The scholar said while the building of infrastructure by TETfund is a welcome development the agency should focus its interventions more on research and training He said award of research grants should prioritise proposals that add value to the nation s quest for academic excellence and invention adding that where projects are awards they should be audited based on their impact on the society Dr Edet Imuk of the University of Calabar shares similar opinion with Tukur saying structural reforms were needed to restore stakeholders confidence and stimulate enhanced performance by the Fund The Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund Mr Sonny Echono was recently quoted by a report as admitting the need for reforms in the organisation saying it was the need to weed out inhibitions to transparency in TETfund s operations He said there is the possibility of the reform being opposed in some quarters it has become a necessary step to take if the agency will deliver on its mandates The respective institutions do the design and costing of projects So also is the supervision and management The TETFund only monitors milestones attainments ahead of releases in tranches he said giving an insight into the direction of the forms As the need for repositioning the organisation becomes increasingly imperative stakeholders say such reforms will be incomplete without streamlining the process of applying for research grants scholarships and contracts in a manner that will reduce physical contacts between applicants and TETfund managers to avoid bias evaluation and eventual award of the grants and contracts NANFeatures If used please credit the author and News Agency of Nigeria NewsSourceCredit NAN
TETFund: Imperatives for efficiency-driven reforms

1 TETFund: Imperatives for efficiency-driven reforms

naija newspapers today

2 TETFund: Imperatives for efficiency-driven reforms
By Uche Anunne News Agency of Nigeria
Appropriate funding of tertiary education remains a major challenge for many countries, particularly developing ones.

naija newspapers today

3 In addition to personnel emoluments and building of infrastructure, the university system requires enormous financial resources to meet its research funding demands and contribute more to more meaning socio-economic growth of nations.

naija newspapers today

4 To address this challenge, and following an agreement with university lecturers on adequate funding of universities, the Federal Government in 1993 established the Education Tax Fund (ETF) through the Education Tax Decree No. 7 of 1993 (Act) as an intervention agency.

5 The Act stipulates that two per cent tax shall be charged on assessable profit of a companies registered in Nigeria as may be ascertained in the manner specified in the Companies and Income Tax Act of the Petroleum Profits Act. It also gives the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) the mandate to assess and collect the tax from the companies.

6 In 2011 through Act No. 18 ETF morphed into Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) with its responsibilities refocused to intervene only in public tertiary institutions, namely universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

7 But, in spite  the change in nomenclature and scope of intervention, the core responsibilities remain to provide the much-needed funding support for tertiary education as well as award of scholarships, research grants with a view to improving the quality of research outcomes by Nigerian scholars.

8 As TETFund’s responsibilities become more complex in the face of expanding demands for its resources vis-à-vis finances that are not growing in the same geometric progression, some stakeholders argue that it has become important for reforms in the intervention agency to enable it maximize its capital for optimum impact on Nigeria’s tertiary education system.

9 One of the major areas that require urgent reform is the management of the Fund. As presently constituted, the TETFund Board of Trustees is made of mainly politicians appointed from the six geo-political zones by the Federal Government.

10 This is in addition to the Executive Secretary of the Fund,
Also on the board are political appointees who head different parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Education; namely the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and nominees by the Federal Ministry of Finance; and Education.

11 As presently constituted, observers say it would be difficult for the intervention agency to function effectively without politicians’ interference.

12 They also argue that its present Board is also a radical departure from the 1992 ASUU-FG agreement on the funding of universities which gave birth to the Fund. The agreement provided that, having suggested the establishment of the Fund, ASUU should be involved in its management.

13 In a report published in the October 7, 2019 edition of Premium Times, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) posited that there was unnecessary political control and interference by state governors in the execution of the TETFund-funded projects in their respective states.

14 Similarly, Prof. Hussaini Tukur said the Board of Trustees of TETFund should be one that inspires confidence in the award of research grants and other operations of the agency.

15 He said it was not in the interest of the education system for politicians to dominate the membership of the board, saying in most instances, politicians’ interest are paramount in their actions.

16 Tukur, a lecturer in the department of Public Administration, Nasarawa State University, Keffi said even when geo-political zones are involved in constituting the board, it is imperative that such nominees should be seasoned academics so that they can bring their academic experience to bear in the running of the agency.

17 Tukur also contended that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) should have representatives on the Board.

18 The scholar said while the building of infrastructure by TETfund is a welcome development, the agency should focus its interventions more on research and training.

19 He said award of research grants should prioritise proposals that add value to the nation’s quest for academic excellence and invention, adding that where projects are awards, they should be audited based on their impact on the society.

20 Dr Edet Imuk of the University of Calabar, shares similar opinion with Tukur, saying structural reforms were needed to restore stakeholders’ confidence and stimulate enhanced performance by the Fund.
The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Mr Sonny Echono was recently quoted by a report as admitting the need for reforms in the organisation, saying it was the need to weed out inhibitions to transparency in TETfund’s operations.

21 He said there is the possibility of the reform being opposed in some quarters it has become a necessary step to take if the agency will deliver on its mandates.

22 “The respective institutions do the design and costing of projects.

23 So also is the supervision and management.

The TETFund only monitors milestones attainments ahead of releases in tranches,” he said giving an insight into the direction of the forms.

As the need for repositioning the organisation becomes increasingly imperative, stakeholders say such reforms will be incomplete without streamlining the process of applying for research grants, scholarships and contracts in a manner that will reduce physical contacts between applicants and TETfund managers to avoid bias evaluation and eventual award of the grants and contracts.

(NANFeatures)
****If used please credit the author and News Agency of Nigeria.

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

bet9ja mobile app

NNN is an online Nigerian news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria and the world.Contacti: editor @ nnn.ng. Disclaimer.