By Maryam Garba Hassan
Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has said there is no reason for abandoned projects in the nation’s institutions, especially those provided for under Universities Intervention Funds by the federal government.
Shekarau said the funds released by the federal government which stands at 1.3 trillion will cover rehabilitation of dilapidated structures, construction of new ones as per the needs and that Universities should ensure that all new projects are sited on their permanent site.
The minister made this known yesterday in Abuja at the retreat for Vice Chancellors, Budget Monitoring Committees, Directors of Physical Planning of Nigerian Public Universities and other stakeholders, organised by the Implementation Monitoring Committee on the Needs Assessment Intervention in Nigerian Public Universities.
Shekarau said with the funds injected into the tertiary education sub sector this year, by the federal government, Councils should ensure that the products of the nation’s universities are equipped with necessary and relevant skills and competencies to fit in the labour market, and ensure an all-round development of the nation as well as a ensure reasonable infrastructural transformation of Universities in the next few years’.
He said for the procurement aspect, it is a two tranche disbursement, 80% (1st Tranche) and 20% (2nd Tranche), while the training aspect attracts 100% disbursement to enable the trainees pay their school fees and to ensure prompt completion of their programmes.
He said even though funding remains a major operational constraint in the Education Sector, as it is clear that the actualization of the reform objectives cannot be sustained without adequate funding, therefore, universities may attract funds outside government allocation for the development and improvement of other physical infrastructural facilities that will promote effective teaching and learning.
He however warned universities to desist from investing the intervention funds to earn interest, avoid delay in meeting financial obligations to contactors, vendors, suppliers and staff undergoing training and ensure that all beneficiaries maintain a single dedicated bank account to which funds released by IMC are lodged, and from which the universities settle their contractual obligations.