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Exchange Rate: TETFund scholars in Malaysia seek bailout funds

Exchange Rate: TETFund scholars in Malaysia seek bailout funds

Nigerians studying in Malaysia under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D) have written to the Fund seeking financial bailouts.

In a letter addressed to the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, the scholars in Malaysia said that fluctuations in the exchange rate, occasioned by the recent floating of the Naira and the continuous impact of COVID-19, have affected their upkeep.

The scholars appealed to TETFund to review their scholarship fund template to reflect the current economic realities and grant them a bailout that will enable the successful and timely completion of their programmes.

“With a high sense of humility, patriotism, and respect, the TETFund scholars in various institutions in Malaysia under the TETFund Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D) intervention write to make a passionate appeal for a bailout to ameliorate the financial constraints occasioned by the fluctuations in the exchange rate due to the new CBN’s Naira floating policy, the impact of the pandemic, and the current economic reality,” the scholars said.

TETFund speaks

In reaction to the letter, TETFund spokesperson Abdulmumin Oniyangi said the Fund is currently discussing issues arising from the unification of the exchange rate.


Mr Oniyangi said the Fund had, in the past few weeks, met with stakeholders to brainstorm on ways out of the challenges.

He noted that the commission would soon harvest recommendations and devise a solution to the challenge.

“That was one of the reasons why we just had a stakeholder interaction not long ago. These are emerging issues— we presented them before the stakeholders, telling them this is what has happened and all that. How do we move forward?” he said.

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“So right now, as we speak, we are still harvesting suggestions from the people we are serving before we finally arrive at a point where it becomes policy on how to address it.”

He explained that TETFund had met with its desk officers in all benefitting institutions and the chief executives of the institutions in the past weeks.

Mr Echono, the executive secretary, recently appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the alleged mismanagement of N2.3 trillion in tertiary education tax by TETFund.

At the hearing, he hinted that the government agency may suspend foreign scholarships due to the additional costs resulting from the fluctuating exchange rates.

“Currently, as I speak, we are in consultation with all our stakeholders to suspend foreign training for a year or two… this is because of the recent exchange rate adjustments,” he said.

“We are unable to continue based on our disbursement guidelines.”

About TETFund

The Tertiary Education Trustfund was established in 2011 to manage and improve the disbursement of the Education Tax Fund to Nigerian universities that have witnessed several strikes by academic unions due to poor funding.

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The main source of income for TETfund is the two per cent education tax paid from the assessable profit of companies registered in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: FG yet to refund N323bn borrowed from us — TETFUND

Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe

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