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Why Lagos State Couldn’t Access N4.5b TETFUND Intervention Fund— House Committee

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Credit: Ayodele Olalere (Newstap.com)

The Chairman, House of Representatives Technical Committee on Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, 2024 Oversight, Miriam Onuoha, on Monday said Lagos State government has failed to access the N4.5billion earmarked by the Federal Government for the State in last six years due to its inability to meet up with criteria for such funding.

Onuoha made the disclosure when she and South West members of the committee held a stakeholders meeting with the Lagos State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Sule Tolani and heads of tertiary institutions in the state at Lagos House, Ikeja.

The Chairman said the meeting was to find out the reason behind the state’s failure to access the fund and proffer solutions to challenges making it difficult to access the fund.

She added that the committee would be visiting other states of the Federation to ensure all states have access to the fund adding Lagos was the first point of call.

“Myself and the committee alongside the relevant department and agency of the TETFUND and a team of consultants made up a technical team are here on a working visit to the Lagos State governor and his cabinet to intimate them about the accumulated unaccessed TETFUND intervention for affected institutions from 2017 to 2023,” she said.

She added: “The committee embarked on its annual oversight to the TETFUND agency and in the course of our job we found out that some institutions were behind in accessing the TETFUND intervention to build infrastructural gaps in the tertiary institutions.

“From an extraordinary general committee meeting, the committee resolved to work with TETFUND and tertiary institutions to ensure that the impediment which has given rise to this intervention is relaxed.”

Onuoha further said failure to access the fund has resulted in loss of its value.

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“This intervention and allocations made over the years has begun to erode its value owing to the inflationary trend. We hope that if they comply with this team, the money will be released to them.”

“In our engagement with the Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University and Lagos State Polytechnic including the Commissioner For Education, we are looking at challenges.The TETFUND intervention doesn’t come just with a matching grant, it also comes with guidelines beneficiaries must meet to ensure compliance.

She added that the intervention is to take care of physical infrastructure, research and development, staff and maintenance as well as procurement of equipment.

“It means that we need to sit up and use this intervention that has been allocated for Nigerian students and Nigeria’s institutions as it were. Taxpayers money should be put to judicious use.

“For Lagos State owned institutions close to N4.5billion has not been accessed, we are still working to get the specifics. We want to ensure that cumulatively all the funds are accessed from 2017 to 2023.

The committee, who paid a courtesy visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu after the stakeholders meeting and urged the governor to ensure the state access the fund.

In his response, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pleaded with the committee to increase funding allocated to the state.

He noted that the state now has four Universities and as such deserves more financial assistance from the Federal Government.

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