The attention of the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group and the Global Alternative Agenda has been drawn to the proposed plan to amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Act.
We, as part of the stakeholders in the Nigerian education sector reject the proposed amendment and call for the continuity of the TETFUND.
The the proponents of the TETFUND Act amendment want a reverse to the previous organization called Education Trust Fund, popularly known as the ETF.
The ETF for over 17-years was relegated to a contract awarding agency that lacks human power to fulfill the agency’s mission of transforming and supporting the Nigeria Higher Education towards the national goals.
The National Assembly passed TETFUND Act into law on June 2011 with the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as the pioneer Executive Secretary.
The stakeholders, consisting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and Members of the Civil Societies Organization has also claimed that the proposed amendments are dangerous and may impose a greater financial burden and exposure to the TETFund much worse than during the ETF regime .
Since the passage of the bill into law in 2011, TETFUND has ensured that its implementation is robust with glaring successes recorded. Prior to the TETFUND, no Nigerian University was in the list of 100 ranked Universities in Africa. Some of the reasons adduced to this failure was lack resources for researches, decay infrastructures, and the problem of brain drain.
The implementation of the new Act, which gave birth to the TETFUND has ensured that funding is available for designated intervention projects in all beneficiary institutions within the mandate of the Fund. The result of this effort made some few Nigerian Universities to break into the top 100 ranked Universities in Africa.
In addition, unlike the era of the ETF, the effective monitoring of the intervention projects in the beneficiary institutions has been greatly improved.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt in the fact that any attempt to amend the Act will put the proponents of the amendments on a collision course with critical stakeholders in the education sector especially the unions such as ASUU that considers the TETFUND as one of its achievements following the agitations of the 1992 FG/ ASUU agreement ),
The National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS), Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, (COEASU), and the Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria have called on the National Assembly to ignore the request for the amendment.
The Civil Society group as represented by the Coalition To Save Education In Nigeria, which includes the likes of Ezenwa Nwagwu, Lanre Arogundade, Mahmood Abdul , Chima Amadi, Prof. Emeka Ezeonu and Jaye Gaskia also claim the attempt to amend the act will be a set back for Higher Education development in Nigeria
In conlusion, the TETFUND has received both local and international commendations for refocusing the higher education in Nigeria. The astounding achievements of TETFund may have unwittingly been responsible for this show of solidarity from stakeholders. We call on the National Assembly to ignore the clamor for the amendment.
Oludare Ogunlana Dr. Chima Amadi President, GAA President, ISDNG