TETFUND Boss 'Baffa' Uncovers Fraud Involving Lecturers, Agency’s Staff

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Abdullahi Baffa, yesterday disclosed that a high-level fraud involving some academics and staff of his agency had been uncovered.

According to him, the lecturers and the staff had abused the intervention funds of the agency on pretext that they were pursuing further academic qualifications or attending conferences.

Baffa made this known when executive members of Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) paid a courtesy visit to his office.

He particularly disclosed that the scholars and the staff were awarded sponsorship to attain further degrees as well as attend conferences but ended up abandoning such programmes and used the monies for other purposes.

The development, according to him, violates the terms of approvals the funds were granted to them. To this end, the Executive Secretary vowed that henceforth, violators of the intervention funds would not go without facing the full wrath of the law.

The TETFund boss, who decried the detected infractions and described it as “very unfortunate”, said: ‘’a situation where some scholars and other staff engaged in the abuse of intervention processes by not adhering to guidelines stipulated by the Fund must stop.’’

The TETFund Executive Secretary, who expressed his unflinching resolve to adhere strictly to the provisions of the TETFund Act in carrying out the activities of the Fund, described transparency and accountability as his watch words.

While thanking the union leader for recognizing the role of TETFund in providing physical infrastructure and human capital development necessary for the promotion of teaching and learning in public tertiary institutions in the country, Baffa described the interventions of TETFund as the live wire that has sustained the activities of beneficiary institutions.

Speaking on some of the efforts that have been made since he assumed office to ensure equity in the disbursement of funds for the various interventions, Dr. Baffa stated that non-teaching staff of beneficiary institutions who hitherto were not involved in workshop attendance are now eligible to attend workshops for five days for a start.

Reacting to the request by the union for inclusion of non-teaching staff in the Academic Staff Training and Development Programme, the Executive Secretary stated that his organization has been receiving such requests, adding that the matter may be tabled at the next Strategic Planning Workshop and perhaps a policy on the issue made.

On the request for adjustments in the percentage of allocation of funds to teaching and non-teaching staff, Dr. Baffa informed the leadership of the union that the Fund has introduced the ICT Support Intervention which is meant for both teaching and non-teaching staff, with no mention of ratio of disbursements.

This development, he said, was a step towards accommodating both categories of staff in beneficiary institutions.Dr. Baffa commended the harmonious relationship which he noted, has been existing between the different unions in tertiary educational institutions in the country

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