Date: Wednesday 1st December 2021

We operate Standard Accounting, Operational Guidelines ---TETFUND sources
Setting the records straight, unraveling falsehoods, Fake News
We operate Standard Accounting, Operational Guidelines ---TETFUND sources

In response to a publication early this month alleging that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) had breached accounting and operational guidelines in disbursing one Trillion Naira receipts in five years, The PYRAMID Newspaper Online can authoritatively confirm that the claims were "laughable, baseless" and traceable to agents of a former top executive of the Agency.
Sources at the Fund decried that such "a pack of untruths, falsehoods and fake and patently malicious news making unverified claims against TETFUND were passed off as authoritative news from a supposed "investigative story" using a NEITI report as a peg".
Our reporter learnt that the said newspaper report "failed to acknowledge the fact that TETFUND was not funded from the Federation Account. 
"TETFUND money is actually derived from 2% accessible tax of profit making entities in Nigeria". Such funds were not within the purview of formal government budgeting, due to the 1992 ASUU/FG agreement which is a binding covenant in that regard as captured in the Laws setting up TETFUND. 
It thus operates a system whereby the management prepares its annual budget ratified by the Board of Trustees which is then passed on to Mr. President through the Honorable Minister for approval. 
The false reports, according to our sources had mendaciously alleged that TETFUND “does not have a comprehensive accounting and operational manual" and had on that account claimed that "the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) wanted the federal government to immediately carry out a comprehensive audit of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND)".
Contrary to such claims, said The PYRAMID Newspaper contacts, "TETFUND has authorized accounting guidelines: “GUIDELINES FOR ACCESSING TETFUND INTERVENTION FUNDS, 2017 Edition” and “ACCOUNTING MANUAL, 2014 Edition” for internal financial control. Both, our sources say, are in the process of update, "to reflect such new developments as the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of September 2015".
"To further strengthen TETFUND Accounting procedure, since 2016/2017, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) has been introduced, a standard that is still to be adopted by a majority of public sector agencies", said our sources.
Debunking the claims of any wrong doing ascribed to a report alleged to have been initiated by consultants to Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a copy of which we saw, referred to by the online newspaper our source at the Fund emphatically said, "NEITI did not make any such claims. NEITI sources he reaffirmed "did not authorize such a statement, other than what was contained in their report".
Our sources cited the newspaper story published October 7, 2019 where the TETFUND spokesperson, Acting Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Gbenga Arosolafe had categorically stated as follows:  “I want you to know that we (TETFUND) have our Annual Reports up to date. Even the 2018 Annual Report is already being published". This had exposed what he suggests seemed like deliberate misinformation by the newspaper claiming in depth reportage.
Our sources quoted the report as saying: "Apart from the income and expenditure of the Fund and other financials, Mr Arolasafe said the annual report covers all information the NEITI audit team would have wanted on other aspects of its operations from the beginning to the end of the year".
To set the records straight our source said, ”the Fund does not receive any allocation from the Federation Account, saying it was the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which collected the education tax on its behalf. And 2% of taxable incomes of relevant entities doing business in Nigeria".
Said our sources: “For the record, we do have guidelines for financial operations, particularly with our annual report always up-to-date, including the 2018 edition, which is currently in print".
"In fact what we find amazing is the fact that the online newspaper published such a spin even when the said NEITI Report had acknowledged that TETFUND had been provided "templates" to report revenues accrued over the years, 2012 to 2016 and confirmed in section 6.9.3 titled "Limitation in scope" that "templates submitted to us by TETFUND" had been "populated", while quoting a "CBN/TETFUND Statement of Accounts Template", marked "Table 80: Monthly and Annual Breakdown of Revenue by Sources for the period 2012 - 2016" and another "TETFUND validated Template" captured as "Table 79: Component of Total Revenue from 2012 to 2016".
The source said, "I wonder where the publication sourced its wild allegations that were not in anyway captured in the NEITI report as appropriately reported in the FASD Summary Report, 2012 - 2016 Fiscal Years in "Section 4.9 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Overview of Tertiary Education Trust Fund".
With the benefit of these insights, our sources say, "it was apparent that some extraneous manipulation may have led to generating the malicious story".
"This is indicated by the fact that a former top executive of TETFUND was in charge at the time of the claims of refusal to acknowledge the request of NEITI consultants by the chief executive to "validate the (TETFUND) templates".
It is public knowlefact that the said chief executive "had manipulated and orchestrated a patently false and alarmist report that led to a change in the leadership of the agency and his own appointment as head. It was later found to have been a false alarm considering available records of a transparent system of managing resources now apparent".
Said he, "the revert to the current leadership, globally recognized for transparent and inclusive management of the resources at the disposal of the Fund was well received by all stakeholders".
Our sources noted that suspicions raised of a puppeteer behind the untruths in the story are suggested by the NEITI consultant's report of a letter from the NEITI Consultants "acknowledged as received on 8 June 2018 from NEITI . . . delivered to TETFUND", adding that the consultants had said they "were informed the Executive Secretary had not yet given his permission for us to come and review the submitted templates, and so we were not granted permission to validate the templates".
Whatever the reason for the then chief executive to deny access to the consultants and the release of the report spinned against the TETFUND was of no effect, said our source, "considering the tradition of efficient, effective, transparent and judicious application of resources over the years".
Since the return of the present chief executive, the Fund had returned to the well known path of inclusive and transplant management of its brief, he added.
As a result long before the NEITI report was released and portions quoted by the online newspaper to malign the TETFUND, a Team of Consultants, “Technical Advisory Committee on Impact Assessment (TACIA) had been commissioned to come up with an impact assessment of the Fund over the past 20 years and undertake and produce a strategic plan for the Fund". 
"The team made up of over 60 professors is led by two top professionals, Prof. Nazifi Abdullahi Darma and Professor Njoku and a support team of 120 other technical adjuncts who are not on the staff of TETFUND".
Since the return of the current chief executive of the Afency, regular broadcast and other media engagement with the public always keeping all TETFUND projects and programs in the public domain is a powerful and transparent public reinforcement of the outstanding infrastructural development the intervention agency does in the 211 universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, monotechnics, libraries etc, plus, importantly, the sustained and orderly manpower development program by TETFUND in all tertiary institutions of the Federal and State Governments.
All these are in addition to the regular in-house accounting procedure, open to all authorized agencies and members of the public. 
A sustained public outreach has been an integral part of the management of the TETFUND throughout the tenure of the current chief executive Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, a world class academic with an impeccable reputation as reaffirmed by his recent reappointment by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, said our source.
This was proved by the wild jubilation of staff of the Agency on the return of Prof. Bogoro as Executive Secretary. Since then the Board of Trustees of TETFUND, all stakeholders and staff had been engaged on a sustained basis to attain the optimal objective of the Agency.
The PYRAMID Newspaper said, TETFUND as an institution despite its period of trials has maintained a record of transparency built on the foundations of previous professionals of character and competence.
TETFUND has all its records intact, and available for any authorized scrutiny in addition to its regular publicity outreach and stakeholder engagement in the media and in publications including in house publications, he said.
TETFUND has standard and verifiable accounting and audit procedures despite the claims of deliberate refusal to allow consultants "permission to validate templates", obviously done with a malicious intent, he added, and appealed to "the media to avail themselves of the open and transparent processes at the Fund to ensure publication of the correct status of any enquiry".

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