FG set to raise education tax, N’Assembly may amend TETFund Act
The Federal Government yesterday announced that it has started the process of increasing the two (2) percent education tax with which it supports the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to about four (4) percent.
Executive Secretary of TETfund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed this, said the Federal Ministry of Education had already sent a comprehensive report to the Presidency in which it recommended an increase in the education tax from its present two percent to between three and four percent.
Speaking in Abuja at an event organised by the Fund tagged: Institutionalization of Research and Development in Tertiary Institutions as a Launch Pad for Nigeria’s Technological Advancement.
Professor Bogoro who said as soon as the Presidency reviews the proposal for the increase in the education tax and the National Assembly commence the process of amending the TETfund Act to accommodate the increase, the Fund would play the expected supportive role to facilitate the process.
“In a recent report by the Ministry of Education to the Federal Government, the case was made for the increase of the 2 percent education tax collection by Federal Inland Revenue to raise it to three or four percent.
“We are supportive of it and we believe that with what we have done and if you notice now, some five years ago there was no African university ranked among the top 100 in Africa, that was embarrassing enough.
“Definitely the process will begin as soon as government gives the go ahead. There is a proposal to Mr. President, government will review and see the benefits and demerits and when government decides they should formally take it up.
“For us at TETFund it may just be that government has taken a decision and we are supposed to ensure that it is facilitated and whatever contribution we need to make to add to an Executive bill emanating that would raise the collection from two to four percent.
That would mean a lot for us, definitely you cannot change TETFund Act without legislation, it requires the National Assembly,” He said
He noted that interventions by the Fund in the areas of research and development has led improved performance of Nigerian universities which according to him has also impacted on their ranking in Africa.
“Today because of aggressive intervention and concentration of government attention on our public tertiary institutions and with massive support of TETFund we now have 28 Nigerian universities ranked among the top 100 in Africa.
“We are not feeling good that we are still outside the 2000 mark for the world. Out of the 1000 global universities there are only five African universities, three from South Africa and two from Egypt.
“Nigeria is yet to be there. We remain quite embarrassed but you better imagine if we increase the intervention and there is patriotic application of the funds in the priority areas, the ranking of our universities will begin to compete with the very best in the world.” Professor Bogoro said.
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