The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Mr. Sonny Echono, has revealed that there are approximately 175 distressed projects sponsored by TETFund across various higher institutions in Nigeria. He made this statement during a seminar in Ikeja, Lagos, emphasizing that efforts are being made to complete these projects.
Echono attributed the abandonment of some projects to the actions of heads of institutions who halted work on projects initiated by their predecessors. He expressed concern over the trend where some vice-chancellors, rectors, and provosts treat their campuses as personal estates, making decisions based on personal interests.
He stated, “We are giving priority attention to the completion of abandoned projects across the country, and we are doing that this year and the next. I am advising heads of the institutions not to jettison inherited structures and projects.”
Echono highlighted the need to appoint competent individuals to positions of responsibility within the institutions to ensure the development and completion of projects.
Regarding the abandoned library project at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Echono explained that the matter would need to be revisited by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). If the contractor is found to be competent, additional funds may be allocated to complete the project.
Echono also addressed the challenges faced by scholars studying abroad, particularly in Far East and remote locations. He acknowledged the fluctuating exchange rates and increased living expenses and mentioned plans to revise the pattern of scholarship awards, with a greater emphasis on local scholarships.
Echono urged Desk Officers to serve as intermediaries between TETFund and their respective institutions and fulfill their roles effectively in facilitating the completion of projects and achieving educational goals.