The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has recommended the termination of contracts and sanctions for erring contractors handling projects in institutions benefiting from its various interventions.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono, disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja, during the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Procurement Professionals Association of Nigeria, (PPAN), which also featured election into its executive positions.
Echono, who acknowledged that there were challenges relating to high cost of materials in the last year, said TETFund had coped with the situation, as it had designed ways of responding to it.
The TETFund boss added that the agency was working with regulatory authorities to get support towards ensuring that there were no abandoned projects in its beneficiary institutions.
Echono stated, “We are working in a very nimble manner. We are working with the contractors and institutions. We are already meeting. The whole of last week, we met with so many institutions that have such challenges, and we continue for the rest of this week. We are finding solutions.
“And some of them where the fault is that of the contractor, we are not only recommending terminations, we are also recommending sanctions. But there are other areas where the fault is basically what you call force major. It’s external to everybody.”
Speaking on efforts to tackle corruption, he said, “Procurement is the major source of pecuniary gain because more often than not, the contract system has become so endemic and embedded in our system that people also see it as the main source of unearned income.”
Echono added, “It is better to do it at the preventive end by putting measures in place to limit incidence from happening rather than thinking of arresting people and prosecuting them. Working with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and other anti-corruption agencies, we are designing mechanisms to improve those processes that will detect, disrupt and also prevent them.”
Speaking also, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Public Procurement Association of Nigeria, Engr Emeka Eze, expressed happiness at the clarification that projects approved for TETFund’s beneficiary institutions have no entanglements.