The Nigerian Senate yesterday said it will open investigation into the alleged diversion of N200 billion of the education tax collected by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) between 2012 and 2013.
The amount was said to have been diverted to “unknown and unspecified uses not recognised in or permitted under the TETFund establishment Act, 2011.”
According to the upper legislature, its investigation will also cover alleged misappropriation of the Education Tax Fund by the establishment from 2011-2015.
Consequently, the Senate summoned TETFund’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, to appear before its Committee on Tertiary Institutions to explain the reported diversion and other irregularities at the establishment.
The resolution was made sequel to the adoption of a motion, “Gross Mismanagement of Education Tax Fund 2011-2015,” sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Sabi (Niger/APC).
Sabi alleged that the TETFund Board granted a loan to the Ministry of Education and also organised a workshop and pre-retreat in the United States of America and Kenya in 2014-2015 without recourse to the guidelines of the TETFund Act.
The lawmaker, who represents Niger North Senatorial District, also disclosed that the sum of about N500 million was budgeted for advertising and media in TETFund’s 2015 budget.
He said the allocation contravened the rehabilitation, restoration and consolidation of tertiary education in Nigeria in accordance with Section 3(1) of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment, etc) Act 2011.
The lawmaker lamented that, after spending nearly N1 trillion between 2011 and 2015 by TETFund, the state of infrastructure in tertiary education institutions still remained shabby, dilapidated and mostly run down.
Following the resolution to probe TETFUND, the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, directed the Committee on Tertiary Institutions to complete its assignment and report back to the Senate within a month.
“I want the committee to do a thorough job and within a month report to the Senate so that we get a clearer picture of the situation,” he said.