By Rosemary Ogbonnaya
Tertiary Education Trust Fund,TETFund, said it will commence the construction of its North-Central zonal office in Nasarawa State, in January 2023.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, made this known during a courtesy visit to the Fund by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State on Thursday in Abuja.
Echono, who expressed delight over the tremendous impact of TETFund intervention projects in tertiary education institutions in Nasarawa State, said the zonal office would bring beneficiary institutions in the North-Central region closer to the Fund.
He expressed appreciation to the governor for allocating land for the construction of the north central zonal office.
“Your Excellency graciously approved and allocated land to us as the North Central zonal office. We plan to commence construction in January 2023. It will afford us the opportunity to get closer to beneficiaries of our intervention projects,” Echono said.
While expressing readiness of TETFund to reposition public tertiary education institutions for better performance, Echono lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his massive support for the Fund, which has seen an upward review of education tax to two and half percent.
“We also express our profound appreciation to His Excellency, the President, for his wonderful support he has given to TETFund. With the effect from this year, TETFund is now getting 2 and half per cent not two per cent as education tax, and Mr President has assured us that before he leaves, before the end of his administration, it will get to three per cent,” Echono said.
Earlier, the governor, who lavished praise on TETFund for the various intervention projects in Nasarawa State University and other public tertiary institutions in his state, commended Echono and his predecessor, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, for ensuring that the university benefited from high impact projects and other regular interventions.
“After I assumed office as governor, I visited here and I told him I need your help. I want to introduce the faculty of engineering and faculty of medicine at the Nasarawa State University but we don’t have the money.
“We got the high impact and we were able to set up the faculties of medicine and engineering in Nasarawa State University. So, I thank the management of TETFund for the support we received.
“Secondly, when I came in, we look at the courses we have in Nasarawa polytechnic, now Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, and we did not have one single accreditation on technical course, and I said we cannot be a polytechnic because polytechnic means many technical.
“We did not have accreditation, and we realized the reason for that was that we did not have some workshops, buildings, and others. and I came for assistance from TETFund and today we have four technical courses,” the governor said.
While saying that Nasarawa State still wants more from TETFund in order to meet the developmental needs of the state, Governor Sule expressed the wish that education tax would be reviewed to four per cent to ensure more robust performance from the Fund.
He, however, expressed satisfaction with President Buhari’s move to ensure increment of the education tax to three per cent by next year.