The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed its opposition to the inclusion of private universities as beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) interventions.
TETFund, established in 2011, is responsible for the disbursement, management, and oversight of education tax for government-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This program provides additional support to all levels of public tertiary institutions.
The primary source of funding for TETFund is the two percent education tax collected from the assessable profits of companies registered in Nigeria.
Recently, there has been a growing call from some stakeholders to extend TETFund benefits to privately-owned tertiary institutions.
Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of ASUU, articulated the union’s stance during a two-day interactive session between TETFund and all unions representing beneficiary institutions.
Osodeke argued that including private universities in TETFund’s interventions might lead to a proliferation of low-quality private institutions. He emphasized the need for TETFund to enhance its project monitoring mechanisms nationwide.
The ASUU president noted that the performance of projects among beneficiary institutions has been inconsistent, even though some of them received equal funding. He urged TETFund to implement sanctions for non-performing institutions.
Osodeke also called for the elimination of what he referred to as “stakeholders’ funds” among these institutions. He emphasized that ASUU would continue to strike until appropriate reforms are implemented in tertiary institutions.