The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has given justification for its resolve not to fund private universities and other higher institutions.
TETFUND Executive Secretary, Elias Bogoro, made this known in Abuja while briefing journalists on increasing demands to fund Private Universities.
Bogoro, a professor, justified this saying that private higher institutions “have only six per cent of the total students’ population while the public institutions have 94 per cent.”
“We are funding public institutions because that is where the majority of the students are and particularly, the children of the less privileged.”
He noted that although the number of private and public universities in the country is about the same, “there is justification for funding only public institutions due to the overwhelming students’ population, most of who are also from the less privileged.
The TETFUND chief added that his agency is working on establishing more centres of excellence in Nigerian public universities to build on current successes.
“From 2020, the Fund will begin Tetfund Centres of Excellence. As of today, up to six African countries have come to study the model. At the end, if there are weaknesses noticed in the process, let us be informed about them and we are ready to take correction.”
Bogoro said that if there were weaknesses in TETFUND, the management welcomed criticisms and was ready to take correction.
In his words, “We have gone beyond the idea of not funding private universities. There is justification for government and ASUU for insisting that private institutions should not be funded. The numbers of private and public universities are about the same in the country, but not the students’ population”
“I have said before that public institutions have 94 per cent students while private is less than six per cent. So there is justification in our law that we are not funding private institutions.”
He added that the allegation of using unqualified contractors in universities was not true.
He however admitted that there were challenges of execution in some schools.
“There are those institutions we have sent outright queries from the monitoring and evaluation unit. We have undertaken a forensic audit. I have also sought the approval of the Board of Trustees to introduce independent monitoring. It is to demonstrate transparency.”