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TETFund, disengaged persons at odds over efforts to clean-up system

Efforts by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, to reform and sanitise its operations have pitched it at odds with persons disengaged over failure to discharge their duties creditably.

TETFund’s Executive Secretary, Arc Sonny Echono, had signed the final batch of letters disengaging 37 members of the 87 members National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee, NRFS & MC, for failing to diligently discharge their duties or whose roles were at best unclear.

The TETFund boss had also “frozen, cancelled or suspended programmes and consultancies adjudged wasteful or economically disadvantageous to the fund.”

TETFund, in a statement by its Acting Director of Public Affairs, Mr Abdulmumin Oniyangi, noted that the disengagement of the said individuals was part of the fund’s efforts to reform and clean up the system.

The statement noted that some of those affected by the actions are licking their wounds while a few who initially threatened legal actions have settled for renegotiation after realizing their weak positions.

The fund said media attacks on its principals were orchestrated by corrupt persons believed to be uncomfortable with the reforms being carried out by the agency.

Recall that a publication by Sahara Reporters dated 20th July 2022 titled “Disquiet in Nigeria Education Agency, TETFund over Contracts Fraud, Procurement Racketing, Others under New Head, Sonny Echono,” had alleged that the Executive Secretary of TETFund had turned the fund into a fiefdom where contract splitting and padding was the order of the day.

But the fund debunked the allegations of corruption on its principal as attempts by corruption to fight back, stressing that “Arc. Sonny S. T Echono was appointed as Executive Secretary of TETFund by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR in March 2022 after his retirement as the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education; and this was based strictly on his track record as an astute administrator, having served meritoriously in the same capacity at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Federal Ministry of Communication.

“In demonstration of his determination to provide quality, transparent and accountable leadership, the Executive Secretary on assumption of office, in a widely publicized press conference, expressed total commitment to upholding and entrenching tenets of accountability and transparency in the Fund and this he has demonstrated in the period of being at the helm of affairs, through introduction of innovative policies and reforms aimed at improving efficiency.

“I know petitions will soon start flying and my opponents will join forces” – These comments were made by Arc. Sonny Echono, the new Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) as he signed the final batch of letters disengaging 37 members of the 87 members National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS & MC) for failing to diligently discharge their duties or whose roles were at best unclear.

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