Governors establishing varsities they can’t fund — ASUU

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ASUU President Criticizes Governors for Establishing Unfunded State Universities to Exploit TETFund

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has criticized governors for establishing state universities they cannot fund, accusing them of doing so to exploit the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

In an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke stated that many governors are duplicating universities in their states to access TETFund as a source of funding.

“Any governor today establishing a university is eyeing TETFund as a source of funding,” Osodeke said. He explained that TETFund, which is supposed to be an intervention fund for public universities, is being misused by politicians and civil servants through shady procurement processes and contract fraud.

“TETFund was created as an intervention fund, not the major funding. The universities belong to the Federal Government and government is supposed to fund them and states are supposed to fund their own,” Osodeke emphasized. He noted that politicians and bureaucrats are exploiting the fund at all costs.

The ASUU president called for the creation of a structure to involve stakeholders in the process of allocating and spending TETFund money in an open and transparent manner. “There should be stakeholders’ meetings to assess what you want to do with the funds,” he said, suggesting that the university community, including lecturers and student groups, should be involved to ensure transparency.

Osodeke further criticized the current practice where TETFund officials propose projects and act as contractors, advocating for university councils to run their projects with stakeholder involvement.

ASUU is committed to fighting for the interest of the common man, ensuring that their children have access to university education, Osodeke said. He warned that without ASUU’s struggles, public universities in Nigeria would no longer exist. “Any day we give up like others, our public universities will be gone,” he declared.

He also accused Federal Government officials of being uninterested in fixing the deplorable state of the tertiary education system and unwilling to meet ASUU’s longstanding demands.

Osodeke discussed a recent meeting between ASUU members and Federal Government representatives, noting it was the first official meeting with President Bola Tinubu’s administration. ASUU discussed several contentious issues from the 2009 agreement with the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, and his team in Abuja. These issues included the negotiation of agreements, payment of withheld salaries, earned academic allowances, and consequential adjustments.

ASUU plans to meet with its members and make a decision within the next four weeks.

The TETFund, established to provide supplementary support for public tertiary institutions, primarily derives its income from a 2% education tax paid by registered companies in Nigeria. However, the institution has faced allegations of embezzlement and contract fraud, prompting calls for greater transparency in the award of contracts.

Emman Tochi
Emman Tochihttps://naija247news.com
Emma Tochi is Naija247news Media Northern Bureau Chief, he's based in FCT Abuja. He overseas the northern operations of this business media

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