N683bn grant: Your directive to TETFund won’t stand, state varsities tackle Reps

The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities (COPSUN) has protested against the decision of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to stop the implementation of the 2024 TETFund intervention in State Universities.

The organization therefore called on the House of Representatives Committee on TETFund to rescind the directive and allow for further consultations, if necessary.

The National Assembly had stopped the N683 billion TETFund intervention projects slated for 2024 and requested all Universities to submit drawings, designs, specifications, procurement details and other relevant documents to the committee.

But COPSUN in a statement by its Secretary Suleiman Abubakar Mahdi, on behalf of the chairman, expressed concern over the directive.

According to him, the action is not only an encroachment on the autonomy of the Universities but also an infringement on the doctrine of separation of powers, which, he said, could potentially lead to conflict among the different tiers and branches of government.

He said, “It should be noted that the Governing Councils of the various state-owned universities are, by law, empowered to award or approve the award of contracts after due procurement processes and are exercising this executive prerogative.

“The House Committee may wish to be respectfully reminded that the funds disbursed by TETFund belong to the States and are subject to appropriation and exclusive oversight by the various states’ Houses of Assembly.

“Therefore, the directive, even if valid, should not apply to State-Owned Universities. Furthermore, time is of the essence in executing these contracts, and with the upward trend in the dollar exchange rate resulting in inflation, this could ultimately increase costs.”

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