THE Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has come a long way in aid and interventions of higher institutions of learning in the country.
The release of intervention funds for the building of classrooms, laboratories, capacity building and well stocked and equipped libraries have no doubt made learning more meaningful and conducive for students in the ivory tower across the country.
The TETFUND Act 2011 repealed the Education Tax Act Cap, E4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Education Tax Fund (Amendment) Act No.17, 2003 and established TETFUND charged with the responsibility of managing and disbursing education tax to public tertiary education institutions in Nigeria. To enable TETFUND achieve its objectives, the Act imposes a two per cent education tax on the assessable profit to all registered companies in Nigeria.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is empowered by the Act to assess and collect education tax. The Fund administers the tax imposed by the Act and disburses the amount to tertiary educational institutions at federal and state levels. It also monitors the projects executed with the funds allocated to the beneficiaries.
TETFUND has become such a strong institution through the visionary efforts of its head and seasoned administrator of repute, Arch. Sunny Echono, who is silently building the blocks and connecting the planks in making sure that federal and state-owned tertiary institutions receive the needed support from the Federal Government intervention agency.
Nigerians who have been clamouring for strong institutions and not strong individuals can now heave a sigh of relief if what is happening at TETFUND is anything to go by. Since his appointment as the Executive Secretary of TETFUND on march 21, 2022 Echono has left no one in doubt as to what he can do with public funds. Given his performance at TETFUND, Nigerians especially those in the education sector have continued to shower encomiums on this Seasoned Administrator.
Some stakeholders’ verdict on TETFUND’s service delivery under the visionary leadership of Echono include: “TETFUND is one of the agencies that have showed appreciable level of performance” – Mike Aondokaa, former Attorney General of the federal and Minister of Justice, recently eulogies Tetfund under Echono at the commissioning of Tetfund projects at Federal university of Agriculture Makurdi.
“TETFUND under Arch. Echono is working; taxpayers money is well utilised. If you come to Benue State University,, apart from infrastructure, we are now bridging the gap between industry and classroom.
Without TETFUND, it would have been impossible” – Professor Iorapuur , Vice Chancellor Benue State university in an exclusive interview; “Most of the infrastructures in public institutions can be credited to TETFUND” – Dr Joshua Agbor, a lecturer with Benue state University department of Languages and Linguistics.Provost. It is a thing of joy for us to associate with Arch. Sunny Echono, an achiever who has greatly used his good office to improve the standard of education in Nigeria” – Prof. Simon Terver Ubwa, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State.
TETFUND under the visionary Leadership of Architect Echono for his support on the training of teaching and non-teaching staffs as well as on research grants” — Pro. Charles Soludo, the Executive Governor of Anambra state. He added that TETFund is visibly and littered in all tertiary institutions in all parts of the country. He acknowledged that TETFund is charged with the responsibility of rehabilitating, developing and improving the quality of tertiary education in the country with primary beneficiaries such as universities, colleges of education, polytechnics,, staff training and development agencies, libraries, books development.research, ICT and capacity building.
With these opinions of stakeholders in our tertiary institutions of learning across the country on the numerous successes of TETFUND under the pragmatic leadership of Echono in just Eight month of his appointment, the goal of transforming the education sector is realisable.
A Public Affairs Analyst write from Abuja.