By Felix Khanoba
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s (TETFund) has expressed delight over the N251 billion education tax collected by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in the first nine months of 2020.
The Chairman of TETFund’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Kashim Imam, who stated this at the TETFund/FIRS Joint Interactive Forum in Ilorin, Kwara State, said that the figure could rise up to N300 billion by the end of December 2020..
The AUTHORITY reports that FIRS collects two per cent education tax from the assessable profit of companies registered in Nigeria and remits the same to TETFund for its various interventional projects in tertiary education institutions.
Imam said the Fund has set an ambitious target of N500 billion education tax collection for the FIRS in 2021, adding that the new goal was necessary as the number of beneficiary public institutions has risen to 226.
“I am happy to report that for about two to three years now we have been in the region of N250 billion. TETFund’s budget for this year was N250 billion; for this year, TETFund gave the Federal Inland Revenue Service a target of N277 billion for the year 2020. We are very much on course not only to actualise that target but to surpass that target.
“As at the end of September, collection was in the region of N251 billion; if we are lucky, we may actually hit N300 billion by 31st of December.
“We have set a new target already for 2021 and that target is the sum of N500 billion. Considering the magnitude of the challenges facing tertiary education in Nigeria, we cannot afford to do less,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the forum titled, “New Trust in Sustaining the EDT Collection During Covid-19 Pandemic for Effective Service Delivery of the Mandate of the Fun,” he said TETFund was not comfortable with just sustaining collection as each year the fund makes effort to ensure improvement in its tax collection.
Imam noted that the fund has interacted with the FIRS over the 2021 target and FIRS made commitment toward meeting the N500 billion mark set by TETFund.
“The partnership between TETFund and FIRS is one that is made in heaven. And it has worked effectively in the past nine years in addressing lunch, all the problems of tertiary institutions across the country.
He assured that TETFund’s Board of Trustees was determined to do more and prove that public agencies can deliver services to the people with integrity, adding that the fund was determined to impact more and achieve more.