Uncompleted projects: TETFund says UI’s performance not a good story

FIVE months after seven out of 42 projects for which allocations were made by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) were commissioned at the University of Ibadan, the remaining projects are still uncompleted, The ICIR can report.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Abdullahi Baffa who commissioned the projects in August 2018, said in Abuja at the weekend that the story of projects performance from the premier university was not a good one after a technical committee visited the uncompleted projects.

“We visited UI and we were not happy with what we saw and we expressed our displeasure there and then,” he said

“We made a commitment to send a special monitoring team. The team has visited UI to evaluate those projects and the report is almost ready. But the story is not a very good story.”

He stressed that the Fund was determined to address every infraction made by tertiary institutions in the process of utilizing the funds released to them for project execution.

“Believe me; we are determined to address every infraction in beneficiary institutions relating to any of our projects.

“So we have already fulfilled our promise of sending a team, the team has visited the institution, it has inspected the projects and we have our report almost ready,” Baffa said.

In 2018 when he commissioned six of the projects, Baffa expressed reservations at the quality of some of the completed projects and directed the management of the university to invite the contractors to remedy the lapses.

He said TETfund’s technical team would return to the University of Ibadan to follow up on the completion of these projects.

The premier university had received a total of N6.5 billion between 2011 and 2014 from the Fund.

The allocations were meant to construct 42 different structures on campus, but four years after, only seven of the buildings were completed, and three were done without following the Fund’s specifications.

But as a result of this poor project performance, the University has been unable to access annual allocation from TETfund since 2014.

Part of the requirement for accessing allocation is that benefiting institutions must perform such that the money that was given previously must be utilized and retire.

While at UI, Baffa also remarked that the University would not commence the draw-down of its 2015, 2016, 2017 and even the about to be released 2018 allocations unless it meets the requirements for such.

He maintained that the University would not be considered for the disbursement of 2018 allocation from the Fund because of its backlog of un-accessed funds.

Already, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the TETFund 2018 intervention guidelines of N161billion which the Executive Secretary said would be utilized for 2019 activities in all the benefiting the institutions of tertiary education in the country.

The University of Ibadan would not be part of the benefiting institutions.

Baffa who was answering questions from journalists in his office at the end of a press conference to announce the approval for the 2019 intervention guidelines said that 60 projects were queried in 2018 as a result of some infractions, noting that the institutions that were affected had been directed to address the infractions before such projects were cleared for subsequent disbursement.

He added that 301 projects were found satisfactory while disbursement for their subsequent tranches were effected.

    On the disbursement made in 2018, the Executive Secretary disclosed that the total disbursement for the period between January and December 2018 was N133.84billion to the three levels of tertiary institutions.

    Of the amount, N66.93billion was disbursed to universities, N32.37billion to polytechnics and N32.65billion to Colleges of Education and N1.89billion to others.

    The Director of Public Communications of the University of Ibadan, Tunji Oladejo could not be immediately reached for comments.

    Calls and SMS sent to his mobile phones were not responded to as at the filing this report.

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