Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) was established as an intervention agency under the TETFUND ACT – Tertiary education trust fund establishment, etc Act, 2011: charged with responsibility for managing, disbursing and monitor, the education tax to public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
To enable the TETFUND achieve the above objective, TETFUND ACT, 2011 imposes a two percent (2%) education tax on the assessable profit of all registered companies in Nigeria.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is empowered by the act to access and collect education tax. The fund administers the tax imposed by the act and disburses the amount to tertiary educational institutions owned by federal and state government. It also monitors the project executed with the fund allocated to the beneficiaries.
The mandate of the fund as provided in section 7(1) (a) to (e) by the TETFUND act, 2011, is to administer and disburse the amount to the fund to the federal and state tertiary education institutions, specifically for the provision and the maintenance of the following: essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning, instructional material and equipment, research and publication and academic staff training and development: any other needs which, in the opinion of the board of trustee, is critical and essential for the improvement of quality and maintenance of standards in the higher educational institutions.
TETFUND ensures that funds generated from educational tax are utilize to improve the quality of education in Nigeria with direct contract awarding by: providing funding for educational facilities and infrastructural development, promoting creative and innovative approaches to educational learning services: stimulating, supporting and enhancing improvement activities in the educational foundation areas like teachers education, teaching practice, library development, etc and championing new literacy – enhancing areas such as scientific, information and technology literacy.
Executive secretary of TETFUND, professor Sulaiman Elia Bogoro, has come out to clear the air on the speculation that went viral with the online media over the missing 200billion education tax collection during the interaction with the senate committee in tertiary institution, even as he said that TETFUND was “ the victim and the bereaved” in his words “between September to December 2013 money meant for TETFUND intervention was not remitted but was largely used for the needs assessment which is part of federal government/ASSU agreement 2013.
“It was when the board and management of TETFUND needed to utilize the fund that we discovered that it has been used for other purposes and communication was established from October in respect of the need for the money to be sent to TETFUND.
According to Professor Bogoro, up to the point the money meant for TETFUND was warehoused in the education pool account of the Federal Government in the Central Bank of Nigeria and TETFUND has no access to it. Only at the end of the year that the money by communication that TETFUND was told by the office of the accountant general that the federal inland revenue service has collected so much that the money was remitted into the intervention account.
“But the money in question came into the intervention so TETFUND could not be accounting for it. Infact in the circumstance of what happened, TETFUND according to what happened, TETFUND contrary to what is outside there, we are actually the victim and bereaved in the circumstance and we have made a case for it. “Mercifully, the former President Jonathan, after all was explained to him he approved that the money which was described as ‘borrowed’ be refunded to TETFUND.
“The approval was made and we carried the approval to the President Muhammadu Buhari, who after going through the records realized that it was money meant for TETFUND which was not given to TETFUND and not that any money was missing. “That the position, President Buhari subsequently approve the money be remitted to us through a mechanism of the 2016 appropriation. We are therefore using this opportunity to appeal to the leadership of the National Assembly to assist by supporting Mr. president that the money be returned to us in view that commitment have been made in that respect”.
TETFUND has attained the status of a world class organization through accountability and transparency which makes it be adjudged as the most outstanding public intervention agency in Nigeria by the Independent Service Delivering Monitoring Group, (ISDMG) and has qualified it to receive five different awards from the group. The award are (1) service delivery award as one of the most outstanding public institution in Nigeria, 2014/2015. (2) Certificate of performance to effective and efficient service delivery 2014/2015. (3) Distinguished public service award for emerging most outstanding public institution in Nigeria 2014/2015. (4) 1st runner up for most outstanding public institution 2014/2015. (5) The most outstanding intervention agency in Nigeria 2014/2015.
TETFUND has become a brand for many Africa countries like Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone has established similar fund modeled after the Nigeria experience. TETFUND a compendium of interventions and TETFUND News Panorama, which speak volumes of the achievements and interventions on public tertiary institutions in Nigeria and they are in the public domain.