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MINISTER WANTS STATES TO ACCESS IDLE TERTIARY EDUCATION FUND

By NBF News
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EDUCATION Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i, wants state governors to take advantage of the excess fund with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for the development of the education sector in their states.

At a meeting of Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) in Abuja yesterday, Rufa'i said the states have not accessed their due allocation from the Fund.

According to her, 'there is still a lot of money lying there for the states. That is why we made a presentation to the state governors, guiding them on their roles on how to access the funds.'

She said most of the governors were unaware of the procedure to access the funds and pledged that her ministry would work with the governors to ensure that the funds were utilised.

Rufa'i said the meeting was very fruitful because most of the governors appear to be even blank on the process of accessing TETFUND. She said at the ministry, 'we solicited for their continued support because there is little that the Federal Government can do if it doesn't have the cooperation of the state governors.

'If we have problems accessing funds for UBEC (Universal Basic Education) it requires a kind of counterpart funding from the states, but for TETFUND, we do not require any counterpart funding. Still, we have a lot of money lying there for the states. This is why we made a presentation to the governors. The Executive Secretary of TETFUND came to guide the states on the way forward.'

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State said most of the governors were not aware of the existence of TETFUND and the benefits to the states.

He said the ETF had not been handled in a manner that would ensure the achievement of the desired results.

TETFUND was established as an intervention agency of government under the Education Tax Act 7 of 1993, amended under Act 40 of 1998 with the mandate to administer and disburse funds to the federal, state and local council educational institutions.

The minister, who was accompanied to the meeting by the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said school census would be started, and the exercise required that 'all state governors should give support to their ministries of education to conduct the census with us.'