The Provost of Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu (ASCETA), Dr. Philips Nto has described the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), a Federal Government funding interventionist agency, as the livewire of the nation’s higher institutions.
According to him, most of the public higher institutions of learning in the country would not have survived without the TETFund funding intervention.
Nto attributed greater part of what he described as “uncommon” infrastructural and academic transformation at the college to TETFund intervention, saying that but for the interventions most tertiary institutions in the country would have been overgrown with weed.
He, therefore, advocated five per cent increase on statutory revenue accruing to the Fund and remittance of part of recharge card charges to pave way for more efficient service delivery.
Meanwhile, a former state Commissioner for Finance had argued that after a media facility tour of the institution that the two per cent Education Tax paid from the assessable profit of companies registered in Nigeria was no longer adequate to meet TETFund’s intervention, considering the increasing demands from higher institutions.
The Provost, however, noted that TETFund’s numerous interventions had transformed ASCETA into a huge construction site with modern facilities, saying that the structures inherited by his administration were built by the late Alvan Ikoku in 1931, but added that the infrastructural challenge in the institution had been greatly tackled through assistance from TETFund.
He enumerated some of the projects executed by his administration through TETFund interventions to include the ultra-modern 500-capacity library; Biology laboratory, Business Education block, and a 350-seater auditorium.
Other facilities, according to him, also include Physical Education block with Gymnastic Hall with modern equipment; School of Arts & Social Science building complex; School of Education block; electronic magic board, furniture and computer sets, among others. Nto said: “
When I came on board, I discovered that the college had already been blacklisted by TETFund because the immediate past administration accessed up to 85 per cent funds for a project, but later abandoned it. I had to borrow to complete the project so that we could begin to access funds from TETFund.
That is the secret behind the infrastructural transformation you see here today.”
The Provost, who said he inherited a student population of no fewer than 300 on assumption of office, disclosed that his administration’s target was to hit 3,000 students before the end of his tenure.