By Samson Yaki

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TEFund) has replied critics of its unprecedented efforts to come to the rescue of multitudes of scholars pursuing different Postgraduate programs abroad who became stranded between 2013 – 2017 as a result of non-disbursement of their entitlements by their respective institutions.

The critics had alleged improper administration of funding of certain cohort of 2013 and 2017 foreign scholars of TETFund Scholarship for Academic Staff (TSAS) Intervention program for public tertiary institutions in Nigeria, leading to hardships.


The agency said the baseless and misleading criticism came at a time that it is making frantic efforts at enhancing research and innovation for the purpose of fast tracking the development of the nation and for the good of the nation’s tertiary educational system.

The agency said the scholars’ stranded situation within the period in question was not the fault of TETFund but that of most beneficiary institutions who have consistently breached the critical guidelines for disbursement of funds for scholars abroad, resulting to the stranded scholars issue.

It said funds were always deposited in domiciliary accounts for onward remittance to beneficiary institutions in full to avoid the effect of exchange rate fluctuations, explaining that most institutions, after receiving their monies, fail to further disburse to the scholars their entitlements.

The agency further revealed some gross irregularities that led to most scholars to become stranded at their countries of studies which included those whose study commencement dates were limited to the year 2015, 2016 and 2017 and failure to submit invoice by some scholars for remittance of tuition based on approval.

Other category of stranded scholars were those who claimed to have borrowed money to pay their tuition but are yet to forward supporting documents to validate their claims; and those whose tuition had actually been fully paid by their beneficiary institutions, yet they still forwarded same request to the Fund without recourse to their employers.

The agency also said that there are scholars who hiked the tuition fees on approval, but at the point of payment, the invoices submitted were found to be less than sums approved for them yet they are requesting that the difference be paid to them in Naira.

The agency also accused some scholars for changing their institutions or country of study  without approval from the Fund, while some proceeded with their studies without approval of payment by the Fund whereas some claimed to have handled their tuition fee themselves against the guidelines of the Agency.; as some scholars raise fake invoices for fees, contrary to those presented by their training institutions’ record of fees.

According to the Fund, “Overall, the Fund cannot consider those not willing to submit verifiable invoices for remittance of tuition and those seeking reimbursement only on an imaginary claim of borrowing to pay tuition fees, without supporting documents.

Those whose tuition fees have been confirmed but without further approvals from their employers cannot also be considered.

“Those requesting that TETFund release the difference of fees to them in Naira, cannot also be factored in, just as those that did not travel at all, and claim to be stranded, even when their parent institutions are yet to process their requests.

“Those that changed foreign institutions (within the same country), without approval, whereas tuition had been approved for an original foreign institution, but sent invoice from another institution, and those that have approval for one country but went to another without approval, cannot also be considered”, the agency submitted.

TETFund stated unequivocally that it administers government

allocations with strict adherence to transparency and accountability, noting that the “Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro led Management of TETFund is committed to improving the capacity of academic staff of public tertiary institutions and is passionate about addressing the challenges faced by foreign-based scholars”.

The agency urged returning scholars to always advocate a framework for improved services to foreign based scholars rather than dragging the image of the agency and the country in the mud.

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