By Henry Tyohemba, Abuja
The executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr
Abdullahi Balla has said the agency would institutionalize the Project Proposal Defense and Access Clinic as a yearly event in order to reduce to the barest minimum the challenges faced by the institutions in accessing their interventions.
Balla disclosed this in Abuja on Friday while addressing news men on the essence of access clinic exercise and project proposal defence for Nigerian tertiary institutions.
According to him, both the access clinic and project proposal defence afforded the Fund the opportunity to appreciate the challenges facing the institutions in implementing its interventions and to re-examine its processes with a view to re-focusing them for efficient and effective service delivery.
He said: “The introduction of the project proposal defense which was the first in the twenty four years of existence of the Fund was aimed at shortening the process of obtaining approval-in-principle from the
Fund and eliminate the back and forth communication which sometimes delays the execution of projects.”
He continued: “It is my pleasure to inform you that the access clinic and project proposal defense which were done simultaneously were held from March 6th to April 26, 2017. The total number of beneficiary institutions that defended their proposals at the project proposal defence based on year 2016 allocations issued was one thousand and eighty one.”
The TETFund boss further stressed that those institutions who failed to access the fund within a timeline will have theirs re-taken from them. “What we agreed is that when the timeline elapse and the institutions fail to access the fund, we will re-take the money from them.”
He also warned the contractors that collected money from appropriate institutions without executing the projects.
He said; “Some contractors refused to mobilize to site after receiving mobilization fees. A greater part of the project cycle is spent on the beneficiaries pursuing the contractors to mobilize to site”. The institutions were advised by the panel to engage reputable contractors for their projects, and where necessary, involve law enforcement agencies.”