TETFUND Reports: More Than 137 Sponsored Students Abroad Have Absconded

Sonny Echono who is currently the Executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) while before the Ad-Hoc committee of the House of Representatives revealed that more than 137 Nigerians who were on scholarship abroad have absconded.

Remember the committee was set up to investigate the controversy which Surrounds the Alleged Mishandling of N2.3 Trillion Tertiary Education Tax by TETFund

Echono explained what was the major problem. In his words:

“Some of the scholars that have been sponsored, unpatriotically when they go, they enjoy our scholarship, acquire a higher degree, then refuse to come back, it has become a major crisis.

“The scholarship requires that you will come back. It is required that you have a guarantor and in many cases, the guarantor has suffered undue hardship because when you disappear, we hold the guarantor to pay all the money expended on your behalf but that has not been effective.”

He added:

“We believe that in a system where we work with our embassies and the institutions, we can enforce the repayment for those who insist they will not come back,”

TETFund

He explained further, “We will write to the embassies and they will make it available to those countries and they will not be able to get jobs. They will be seen as fugitives of law from their countries.

“We may have to take that hard stand because the numbers are alarming. We just checked about 40 institutions and over 137 absconders and the review is still on.

“It is a huge number that we cannot afford and so we will seek your support to strengthen some of the regulations to ensure that those who benefit from this programme must come back.

“We are not against people who seek for greener pastures but do so on your own, not through our scholarship or our sponsorship.”

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