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VC Calls Out Federal Government Over Exclusion Of Private Universities From TETFund

 

 

Prof. Ukpai Kalu Ichie, vice chancellor of Evangel University in Akaeze, Ebonyi State, chastised the federal government over the weekend for continuing to deny private universities access to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

 

Ichie said that since the Federal Government has granted private institutions licences to operate in order to support the nation’s educational growth, there is no reason to keep denying them TETFund patronage.

 

Ichie emphasised that private institutions have maintained their high level of competitiveness with publicly supported universities while also contributing to the nation’s requirements for skills and employment.

 

He clarified that it is unfair that private universities are not included in the education tax bill that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) forced the federal government to enact in order to force businesses to pay the TETFund.

 

He said: “Why should our lecturers not go for conferences, workshops and benefit from the government sponsored research through TETFund? Why would lecturers in other public universities, who impact the same knowledge, gain government’s assistance in various ways and those in private universities are denied the same?

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“As a private concern, we keep to standard to survive, and we ensure that we satisfy every requirement set for us by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and other agencies. Yet, we don’t receive support from the government. It is very unfair that ASUU will fight for education tax from companies only for the accessibility of public universities. It is not a crime for Nigerians to study in private universities.”

 

Meanwhile, TETFund reported that it has funded 912 research projects nationwide with more over N23 billion.

 

Dr. Hadiza Ismail, assistant director of the TETFund’s research and development (R&D), made this revelation yesterday in Abuja during a validation workshop on strengthening R&D funding agencies in West Africa.

 

According to Hadiza, the organisation was totally dedicated to seeing a science granting council established in Nigeria.

 

Hadiza asserted that although the TETFund has continued to provide financial support for research through the National Research Fund, the Fund is also making great efforts to guarantee that research outputs are connected to industry in order to bring about the intended development.

 

Speaking during the workshop, Prof. Peter Onwualu, President of the African University of scientific and Technology (AUST), Abuja, stressed the significance of innovation in driving development and predicted that it would mark the establishment of a functional scientific granting council in Nigeria.

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