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EXTENDING TETFUND INTERVENTION TO CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

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A News Analysis by Nysom Dore
Analysts observe that the crises of funding the education sector gave birth to the establishment of Education Tax Fund in 1993 which later metamorphosed to Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
In the beginning, the fund was saddled with the responsibilities of revamping, rehabilitating and revatilising infrastructural facilities in tertiary institutions.
According to analysts, the mandate later covered other areas of need in the university, polytechnics and colleges of education sectors, noting that although the fund is mandated to concentrate its interventionist services on the enumerated areas, it should extend its interventions beyond infrastructural development to other service areas.
The fund derives its revenue from the two per cent Education Tax via the Federal Inland Revenue Services that remits the amount collected to the account of the fund.
In the distributing of the fund, 41 per cent of it goes to the universities, 30 per cent to the polytechnics while colleges of education take 29 per cent.
The distributions are essential in the provision of physical infrastructure and equipment, library development, academic staff training and development.
Irrespective of the scope of TETFund intervention, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure, insisted that the fund should extend its intervention in tertiary institutions to critical infrastructure.
According to him, capital votes for the development of critical infrastructure such as roads, optic fibre for internet and hydro-power plants projects from government are inadequate and there is need for TETFund’s intervention in that regard.
He insisted that the fund should take its interventions beyond infrastructure that had direct bearing on teaching and learning.
“We are saying that those infrastructure are very important, we don’t even have enough of them; but at the same time some critical infrastructure are needed to boost the existing ones.
“We need power to run any decent university; we need investment in water provision for the environment to be decent enough, we need fibre optic for internet access and, of course, we need good roads,’’ he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, in an interview, stressed the need for the provision of such critical infrastructure to boost teaching and learning.
“Since every university is a community on its own, it would also be helpful if TETFund could help with the provision of students’ accommodation,’’ he said.
He, nonetheless, admitted that tertiary institutions in the country would not function well without interventions from TETFund.
However, Prof. Isaac Asuzu, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, said contractors handling projects for the new universities were contributing to inadequate infrastructure in tertiary education sector.
He said in an interview that contractors handling various projects had been delaying by giving excuses in spite of the huge money released to them by TETFund and urged the Federal Government to increase TETFund’s budget, advising TETFund to ensure effective implementation of its projects.
However, Executive Secretary of TETFund Prof. Suleiman Bogoro insisted that the fund had its mandate and could not function contrary to it saying the fund was commissioned to financially empower higher institutions in Nigeria to fulfill their mandate through the provision of essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning.
“Provision of instructional materials and equipment, research, book development and publication, academic staff training and development.
“Other need essential for the improvement of quality and maintenance of standards in the educational institutions.’’
He further noted that since the TETFund Act was amended in 2011, it had invested billions of naira to tertiary institutions across board — universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
“Through these funds, we have been able to rehabilitate and upgrade laboratories of 51 federal and state polytechnics.
“We have constructed micro-teaching laboratories in 58 federal and state colleges of education.
“We have trained and developed close to 10, 000 academic staff both locally and internationally and supported 29 institutions to develop and publish research journals both locally and internationally,’’ he said.
He observed that the Nigerian education system was often characterized by decrepit infrastructure, deteriorating equipment and facilities, under-equipped laboratories, inadequate textbooks and other teaching materials, insisting that academic institutions had an important role to play, especially in light of the heightened expectations for federal and state tertiary institutions.
“It is clear, of course, that simply investing more money into the system is not itself an answer; how that money is spent matters greatly in creating a strong and vibrant education sector.
“In 2013, TETFund allocations to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education stood at N31.338 billion, N12.950 billion and N12.550 billion respectively.
“These are supposed to complement their Capital Allocations and Internally Generated Revenue.
“Somehow, TETFund intervention funds have remained the guaranteed source of capital allocations in public tertiary institutions in the past two decades,’’ he said.
He observed that availability of funds had never solved all the problems and challenges in tertiary institutions.
“Our recent experiences have shown that the challenges of quality of governance, political interference, corruption and moral degeneration and unethical practices have emerged as very serious issues that all of us, including the various unions in our institution must address,’’ he said.
All in all, he insisted that key stakeholders must be convinced that inclusive and qualitative education reinforced by responsible management in our educational institutions is dispensable.

Source: NAN

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BREAKINGNEWS: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye, orders fresh election

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The National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.

In its judgement, the tribunal ordered that fresh elections should be held in the senatorial district, reports TheCable.

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BreakingNews:Full list of ministers and their portfolios

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assigned portfolios to the newly sworn-in ministers.

The full list is below:

1. Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah (Abia State) -Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development

2. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa State) -Minister of the Federal Capital Territory

3. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom State)- Minister of Niger Delta

4. Chris Ngige  (Anambra State)- Minister of Labour and Employment

5. Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra State)-Minister of State Environment

6.Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) -Minister of Education

7.Ambassador Maryam Katagun (Bauchi State) State

8. Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) Minister of State, Petroleum under the President

9.George Akume (Benue State) Inter

10.Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno State) Minister of State, Agric and Rural Development

11. Goddy  Jedy Agba (Cross River State) -Minister of State, Power

12.Festus Keyamo (Delta State) -Minister of State, Niger Delta

13. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) -Minister of Science and Technology

14. Osagie Ehanire (Edo State) -Minister of Health

15.Clement Ike  (Edo State)

16. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti State) -Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

17. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu State) -Minister of Foreign Affairs

18.Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe State) -Minister of Communications

19. Emeka Nwajiuba (Imo State) -Minister of State, Education

20. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) -Minister of Water Resources

21. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) -Minister of Finance

22.Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State) -Minister of Environment

23.Sabo Nanono (Kano State) -Minister of Agriculture and Development

24.Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State) -Minister of Defence

25.Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) -Minister of Aviation

26.Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State)

27.Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi State)

28. Lai Mohammed (Kwara State)

29.Gbemisola  Saraki (Kwara State) -Minister of State Transportation

30.Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State) -Minister of Works and Housing

31.Adeleke Mamora (Lagos State) -Minister of State, Health

32. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa State) Minister of State, Science and Technology

33. Zubair Dada (Niger State) Minister of State, Foreign Affairs

34. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun State) Minsters of Mines and Steel development

35. Tayo Alasoadura  (Ondo State)

36. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State), Minister of Interior

37. Sunday Dare (Oyo State) Minister of Youths and Sports

38.Paulen Talen (Plateau State) Minister of Women Affairs

39. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) Minister of Transportation

40. Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State) Minister of Police Affairs

41. Sale  Mamman (Taraba State) Minister of Power

42. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe State) Minister of State for Housing

43. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State), Minister of Humanitarian Affairs

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THE ATTEMPT OF THE EFCC OFFICIALS LED BY ROTIMI OYEDEPO, ESQ TO INCRIMINATE THE EX GOVERNOR MR AKINWUNMI AMBODE WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY; RESISTED BY YOUNG LAWYERS IN EPE.

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At early hours of today, we were duly briefed that some officers of the EFCC invaded the apartment of the Former Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode with the intention to search the premises.

We got to the scene and met with the officials of the EFCC to inquire whether they have a search warrant to search the premises of the Ex Governor.

Having confirmed the Search Warrant, the EFCC officials told us that nobody will follow them in as they will only go in alone. We resisted as young Lawyers and stated expressly that the principle of search is that the owner of the premises of his representatives must be present to observe the search.

They succumbed to our superior argument and allowed us and the people who has the key to the Ex Governor’s house into the apartment with them. Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in to effect the search.

There was a blue bag which they were holding with them, we requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in. They got angry and said we cannot see the content. Having said that, we strongly resisted them to take it in since they cant allow us to see it, which they later agreed. We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the Ex Governor to incriminate him.

It is important to inform the public that before the entered the house, we all submitted our phones to them as they requested that the only person required to go in with phone is one of them who will record the whole process.

All documents, including the State Executive Exco Meetings Vol 1 – 16 in the personal study of the Ex Governor and His Luggage room which they intended to take along with them for further investigation was resisted by us as we told them that failure to take records of all the documents from A-Z, they cannot go out with anything and they agreed with us.

Flowing from the aforesaid, they searched the nooks and crannies of the Ex Governor’s house and they couldn’t find any incriminating documents or materials. We authoritatively assert that, they did find anything in the house and they didn’t leave the house with anything.

We followed them as they entered from one place to the other, when our presence was intimidating them, they said we should sit down while they will do the search. We resisted that we must follow them to observe every of their activities in the premises.

To our greatest consternation, the officials of EFCC led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq held on to our phones and told us to follow them to their office in Ikoyi to get our phones. All efforts to get back our phones was abortive as the EFCC officials led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq rushed into their white Hiace Bus with our phones and instructed that since we have resisted their efforts to take “the said blue bag” into the main premises of the Ex Governor, they will hold on to the phone. Thus, almost six (6) phones were forcefully taken away, iPhones inclusive.

It is our happiness as Young Lawyers in Epe to be part of the process to legally and successfully resist the EFCC from incriminating the Ex Governor with the blue bag they brought with them from an unknown destination, and we also compelled them to conduct the search within the ambit of the law. Hence, the success.

We are sincerely elated that our presence really helped a long way to legally and successfully expose the intention of the EFCC to incriminate the Ex Governor. To this end, we are ready to challenge the search as they have gone beyond standard and the search warrant in this regard successfully whisking our phones away.

Thank you for listening and God bless you.

Signed.

Fatai A. Adebanjo, Esq.

Busari M. Olanrewaju, Esq.

#GodOfAmbo
Samson K. Okuneye, Esq.

Source: Dan Asabe

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