The Pro-Chancellor, Benue State University (BSU) Sebastine Hon, SAN, has appealed to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund) for disaster relief intervention funds for the institution.
Hon, who is also Chairman of the university’s Governing Council, made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja when he led the management of the institution on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono.
Hon said the appeal was on the heels of the institution’s central library, which suffered severe damage caused by storm.
He also appealed for a waiver to access the 2021/2022 TETFund’s allocations to enable the university address some challenges.
“We have a very small campus, and we desire to expand in terms of content-base and infrastructure.
“Our University has commenced appreciable steps with NUC to commence the following programmes: Architecture, Pharmacy, Engineering, and Building Engineering.
“Further to the level of completion of the above listed projects, we hereby appeal to you to grant us a waiver to allow the University to access the 2021 and 2022 annual allocations.
“This is to enable us to proceed with the projects tied to those allocations,” Hon said.
The Pro-chancellor called for the speedy completion of ongoing projects in the institution.
“The Executive Secretary Sir, we have some TETFund-supported projects on-going now.
“Whereas some of the contractors have shown commitment, some have been poor.
“It is important to mention that the COVID-19 lockdown affected the speed and cost as it were.
“The projects include, Construction and furnishing of Faculty of Education building -85 per cent, construction and furnishing of Research Development and Innovation Centre – 90 per cent,
“Others are construction and furnishing of Academic Office- building-80 per cent, construction and furnishing of block of offices for College of Health Sciences – 90 per cent, construction and furnishing of Faculty of Science building – 45 per cent.”.
Hon commended TETFund) for committing about N7 billion to its various intervention projects since 1999.
“Our campus is dominated with TETFund-sponsored legacy structures, including the central library, laboratories, lecture theatres, faculty buildings, student social centre.
“Others are entrepreneurship development centre, academic training and conferences (foreign and local), post-doctoral and developments in ICT, among others.
“In all, the University has received about N7 billion in interventions from TETFund between 1999 and now, “he said.
Hon, who congratulated Echono on his recent appointment as TETFund boss, also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing him.
In his remarks, the new TETFund boss said that directives had been given for the completion of all ongoing projects in the university.
He said the fund had undertaken a comprehensive review of all of outstanding projects to ensure speedy completion.
“I am pleased to inform you that we have secured the concurrence of the Honourable Minister of Education that from next year, we will have special provision for completion of all ongoing projects
The executive secretary attributed the slow pace of work to fluctuation in prices of construction materials.
He said, “We have projects that commenced but because of fluctuations in prices of important building materials, delay associated with the COVID-19 lockdown and other disruptions, we now have time and cost overhead.”
He assured that the fund would look into the request for disaster intervention through its Stability Fund.
He commended the institution for producing some of the best hands in Nigeria.(NAN)