The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday opposed move to include private universities as beneficiaries of the fund.
The two bodies alongside other stakeholders also opposed attempt to amend the Act to include federal teaching hospitals, as beneficiaries of the fund.
At a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education, chaired by Aminu Suleiman (APC, Kano) in Abuja yesterday, the stakeholders said the TETFund Act needed no amendment.
Solacebase reports that there had been several unsuccessful attempts in the past to expand the fund to include other beneficiaries.
The Executive Secretary of TetFund, Dr Abdullahi Baffa, while presenting the position of the agency said, “The promoters of this bill are not here to present their position, and I believe this is the first reason to reject the amendment.
“If private universities will resort to government for funding, it then means their licence should be withdrawn because they can’t stand on their own.
“Admissibility of tertiary teaching hospitals, private universities and colleges of agriculture will mean the drop in the world ranking of most Nigerian institutions that are already lagging behind.
“It will lead to the agitation by other members of the monotechnic family that were hitherto excluded from TETFund beneficiaries to be captured in TETFund beneficiary institutions list.
“In view of the foregoing submissions, our humble prayers are that the existing TETFund Act should be allowed to remain and operate as it is currently in order to sustain the visible impact of the fund on
public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
“The House of Representatives should discourage any amendment to the TETFund Act 2011, which would put more pressure on the Fund by expanding the list of beneficiaries of the fund.”
ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, said, “We are against inclusion of teaching hospitals into Tetfund. National Assembly has made 1percent in the 2018 budget to health sector that should be enough for them.
“Inclusion of federal teaching hospitals will make the intervention of Tetfund ineffective. The impact of Tetfund will be drastically reduced. Private universities should contribute not to be collecting from Tetfund. They are charging and making profit.”
Other stakeholders such as the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) ‘Say No Campaign,’ among others all opposed the proposed amendment.