* Chairman teases: Change your names to University of Tetfund because of our projects everywhere
*Sure to meet N271Bn for 2020
By Kelechi Esogwa
The law mandates only the Fderal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect the education tax of 2 per cent, but the owners of the money want far more than has been the case. At a seminar in Port Harcourt, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) board demanded for almost 100 per cent increase in amount to be collected in 2021, with the boss even saying he could supply ideas and tips for this.
The chairman, Board of Trustees of TETFUND, Kashim Ibrahim Imam, who demanded for N500Bn for 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, November, 2020, said the target for 2020 is N277Bn.
He said the 2021 target is achievable because of many areas that have not been exploited.
Imam said the informal sector has not joined and that he is ready to offer tips as a revenue expert to help the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) meet and surpass the new target.
He said his tour of universities indicate that almost all ongoing infrastructural facilities are by TETFUND. “I can say let all universities be named TETFUND Universities. Every single head of a tertiary institution said ‘if not TETFUND’ as they lamented their woes”.
He gave instances, saying the University of Lagos alone has 75 ongoing projects, Lagos State University and the University of Port Harcourt have N68Bn each.
He revealed that the FIRS is the only collecting agency and gets four per cent which sometimes amounts to N10Bn while five per cent is reserved for administration.
Responding to the new target, the coordinating director of FIRS, Ezra Zubairu, who represented the chairman, Mohammed Nami, said the target would be met based on measures being implemented.
He said there is increase in revenues due to e-systems and expansions going on.
He said the Service has already collected N251Bn out of the N271Bn targeted.
He said the Covid19 pandemic has been big but that collections have rather increased, all due to big ideas and systems being implemented.
Some heads of tertiary institutions present said TETFUND has been a saving grace. The UNIPORT said if they remove the 75 projects, the rest would be forest.
Those from the Federal College of Education, Omoku, said every building is by the Fund.
The Saro Wiwa Polytechnic director said TETFUND has wiped off fear of the accreditation board visitation. “We now ask them to come”.
The tertiary institutions however pleaded for attention to indigent students to rescue their education.
Some said school fees drive has been stopped thus making revenue to tertiary institutions to dry up.