TETFund injects N2.5tr into varsities, others in 10 years, says FG
• Targets N500b education tax collection
The Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has injected more than N2.5 billion into the development of infrastructure and staff in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the last 10 years of the establishment of the Fund.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of TETFund, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, who made this known, yesterday, also disclosed that the agency is targeting more than N500 billion education tax collection by 2023.
He spoke at the third edition of Tax Payers’ Forum with the theme, ‘TETFUND Intervention: Catalyst for Transforming Tertiary Education in Nigeria’, held in Lagos.
He promised to ensure that intervention to the beneficiary institutions is increased by 50 per cent next year and 100 per cent in two years.
The event, which had Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (represented by his Deputy, Olufemi Hamzat), as guest of honour, was attended by captains of industries, the academia and other stakeholders.
Sanwo-Olu insisted that funding for the sector must be prioritised, noting that TETFund was established as a child of necessity to intervene in the ailing university system. He said universities in Nigeria could have been worse than they are today without TETFund.
He appealed to private companies operating in Nigeria to be consistent in their remittances. He also charged TETFund to create a Silicon Valley for Nigeria and focus on how to take research to the market.
Ibrahim-Imam said, this year alone, TETFund budgeted N300 billion for over 226 higher institutions across the country. He said the agency budgeted N120 billion for education in 2020. This was increased to N300 billion in 2021.
He tasked the Federal Inland Revenue Service on increasing education tax collection to N500 billion in the next two years. He said more than N30 billon was set aside for academic staff training in various institutions across the country.
He said, in response to the challenge of acute shortage of hostels in universities, the Board of Trustees approved the construction of 160,000 additional bed spaces in institutions across the country.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Pro-chancellor of University of Benin, Dr Sonny Kuku, commended the stakeholders for their contribution, while assuring them of the determination of the Federal Government to transform the entire landscape of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, in his welcome address, said the Tax Payers’ Forum is a platform for honouring individuals and companies that have made tremendous contributions to education through consistent payment of education tax and have invariably contributed to the development of education, and by extension, that of the entire nation.