226 tertiary institutions benefit from TETFund intervention- BOT chairman

Mr. Kashim Imam, chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says 226 tertiary institutions in country are currently benefitting from the various TETFund interventions.

Imam said this in Ilorin on Thursday in an address delivered at the TETFund/FIRS 2020 Joint Interactive Forum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the theme of the interactive forum is “New thrust in sustaining the Education Tax (EDT) Collection during the COVID-19 pandemic for effective service delivery of the mandate of the Fund.”

The BOT chairman said the benefitting tertiary institutions cut across federal universities, federal polytechnics as well as  federal and state colleges of education.

Imam said TETFund had targeted N500 billion as revenue from the FIRS for 2021, to be collected on behalf of the Fund.

According to him, out of the N300 billion targeted for 2020, TETFund has realised N270 billion by October.

Imam expressed the hope that by the end of December, the total amount of N300 billion would be realised.

“As you are aware, the synergy between the FIRS and TETFund, is vital to the transformation that is evident in our public tertiary educational institutions nationwide.

“This was achieved as a result of joint delivery of complementary services by providing amiable and lasting solutions to our beneficiaries.

“In addition, the successful strategic partnership over the years can be attributed to the strong, relentless commitment and cooperation by leadership of both organisations and our zeal to improve Nigerian education nationwide.

“Globally, the world is currently facing COVID-19 pandemic, which has adversely affected the world economy, of which Nigeria is not exempted,” he said.

TETFund Executive Secretary, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, in his welcome address said the interactive forum had continued to be a yearly platform where TETFund and FIRS engaged in strategic discussion on Education Tax.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected economic activities and is likely to have effect on EDT; as such it has become necessary to increase our drive for EDT collection,” Bagoro said.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the upward review of the National Research Fund from N5 billion in 2019 to N7.5 billion in 2020.

“In addition, Mr. President also approved the funding and establishment of 12 Centers of Excellence in selected benefitting institutions and six medical research equipment in six colleges of Medicine nationwide,” Bagoro said.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mahammad Nami, in a paper said COVID -19 was a unique challenge to FIRS and a good opportunity to be innovative in order to achieve its mandate of making taxation the pivot of national development.

Nami added that collection performance of FIRS for the period of January – October 2020 stood at N4.122 trillion.

This, he said was despite Finance Act 2019 incentives, COVID-19 challenges and palliatives concession.

Nami added that the sum of N2.790 trillion was collected from non-oil sector during the same period while N1.332 trillion was realised from oil revenue collection performance. (NAN)

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