The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, has denied reports that N359b was ‘missing’ or ‘stolen’ from the fund by the previous administration.
Media reports had quoted the TETFund boss of accusing former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government of withdrawing N359b from the coffers of the Fund without specific reasons.
According to the report, Bogoro made the revelation, when the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education, led by Aminu Suleiman, paid an oversight visit to the agency in Abuja recently.
But the TETFund boss, in an interview with The Guardian explained that he was misquoted out of context, as he never mentioned the former president’s name, since there was no basis for it.
Giving clarification on the whereabouts of the said money, Bogoro said contrary to reports, the previous government only withdrew N273.9b, while the present administration also took N78b from the fund’s account.
He explained that the Jonathan’s government admitted that it was a loan, and would be refunded to the agency’s account.
He said: “The N359b withdrawn from TETFund’s account is well documented. The sum of N273.9b was taken between September and December 2013 by the previous administration. I didn’t have to call a president’s name and I did not. There was no basis for that because it is a corporate entity we are talking about, which is the Federal government.
“We had further withdrawal of N58b in 2018 and N20b in 2019. That means the current administration also withdrew the sum of N78b. The breakdown was very clear. In 2016, N10b out of the original money withdrawn in 2013 was refunded by Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF). That is the only amount that has been refunded so far.
“In 2015, just before the former president left, we impressed on him to ensure that the Federal Government acknowledged that such money had been taken from us, because each time anybody scrutinises our book, they usually ask us the whereabouts of the money. And if TETFund did not give proper explaination, then it means we were the one that stole, but we couldn’t have stolen it. The money was taken from the Education Pool Account that we are not even signatories…”