The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) has projected to generate N500 billion from the Education Tax (EDT) collection from companies in 2021.
TETfund’s board of trustees chairman, Mr. Kashim Ibrahim Imam stated this in Port Harcourt at the agency’s 2020 TETfund/FIRS Interactive Forum with stakeholders in the south-south geo-political zone tagged ‘New thrust in sustaining the Education Tax (EDT) collection during COVID-19 pandemic for effective service delivery of the mandate of the fund’.
He said TETfund’s target in 2020 was to generate N277 billion, but expressed optimism that the said target may be achieved despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imam said the same target of N277 billion had been set for 2021, but charged the FIRS to ensure that the target was surpassed by more than 10 percent increase.
“I challenge the FIRS to do more than they are doing. The figure for this year is 277 billion for 2020. For next year, 2021, the target is N277 billion. That is the target we set for FIRS. “As at September, this year we have 235 billion collected already. That means by December we would have collected the 277 billion target.
“We should be looking in the region of N500 billion. We should not be looking at 10 per cent increase on N277 billion, that is not good enough. We should target N500 billion. I will do everything to support you, and I will support and consult for free to ensure we achieve this,” he said.
The BoT chairman commended companies for paying their EDT on time and called on the others that are not up to date to give attention to it.
He stated that the tax is used for research and educational development on the nation.
“I want to challenge companies that have not been paying to make efforts to pay. Education is vital to the development of any country. Tertiary education is responsible for scholarship, research and should be funded.
“We call on those who have not being paying to please give attention to it. We are challenging FIRS to improve despite Covid-19 and it is achievable. He noted that TETfund target was to reach 50 universities soon, noting the University of Port Harcourt, Lagos State University, have 68 ongoing projects, while University of Lagos has 75 projects.
“We are to go to 50 universities. We have gone round to see things for ourselves and we see and it is established that TETfund of making impact. We have seen that the TETfund is doing well.
“In UNILAG we have 75 projects ongoing. In LASU we have 68 ongoing projects. UNIPORT has 68 ongoing projects funded by TETfund. It means that the fund is utilised most effectively and importantly.
“We are seeing results. I can say that the taxes you have been paying as education tax is impacting on education across Nigeria. The relationship between TETfund, and FIRS is working. FIRS has done exceedingly well,” he added.
Responding, the executive chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, promised that the service would surpass the targets set by TETFUND for 2020 and 2021.
Nami, who was represented by the coordinating director, FIRS, Ezra Zuberu, disclosed that in 2019, the FIRS collected 214 billion EDT from companies.
He disclosed that as of October 2020 the agency collected N251 billion, adding that it would attain the set target despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We will do everything to ensure that the plans of TETfund are achieved. We will ensure that all the funds are mobilised in executing projects in the tertiary institution.
“This year there has been the challenge of Covid-19, but that has not deterred us. We are working to ensure that the taxes are collected and used accordingly.
“As at October 2019, we generated N214 billion. As at October, 2020, we have gathered N251 billion. We will surpass the targets given to us for this year and even for next year,” he added.