TETfund proposes N150bn intervention for varsities, others

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About N150bn has been proposed to be spent by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund as regular intervention to be shared among beneficiary universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in 2016, its Executive Secretary, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, has said.

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But he also ruled out extending TETfund’s intervention grants to private universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.

Baffa gave the figure in an interview with journalists during the 7th edition of an interactive forum which it jointly organised with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, with the theme, “Sustaining education tax collection and disbursement under a depressed economy.”

At the event, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, represented by the agency’s Director of Career and Skills Development Department, Mrs. Junila Takon, said the organisation had generated N675bn as education tax between 2013 and 2015.

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Speakers at the event commended TETFund for the pivotal role it had been playing in improving the nation’s education sector.

Baffa said the N150bn would be shared by the beneficiary institutions on the basis of equality.

He said, “We are proposing to spend N150bn regular and normal intervention and this is the one that is shared among the beneficiary institutions on equality of universities, equality of polytechnics and equality of colleges of education.

“All our beneficiary institutions are going to benefit. For all universities, it is the same amount, for polytechnics, the same amount and all colleges of education, the same amount.

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“Private universities will not benefit; not through the intervention of TETfund because TETfund is for public tertiary institutions as defined by the law. There is no plan for public funds to be extended to private universities,” he stated.

Baffa said TETFund had put in place checks and balances to ensure transparency in the usage of its funding by tertiary institutions.

According to Fowler, education tax collection has been affected severely by the fall in the price of oil in the international market.

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He said, “We are all aware of the severe revenue challenges that Nigeria currently faces as a nation due to the fall in oil prices among other economic challenges. Education tax is charged at the rate of two per cent of assessable profit of a company and it is assessed and collected by the FIRS on behalf of TETfund. It is worthy of note that the education tax collection has been drastically affected by the challenges mentioned above.”

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