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FIRS raises N251b for TETFund, sets N500b target for 2021

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ABOUT N251billion was generated by FIRS for the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund) in 10 months.

  The amount came from 2020 projected revenue of N277 billion that was set for TETFund.

  Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of TETFund, Kashim Imam made this known yesterday in Lagos, at an event to round off the 2020 TETFund/FIRS Joint Interactive Forum that was organised in all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

  Imam expressed confidence that more money would have accrued to TETFund for November and December.

  According to him, the agency had set N500 billion target for FIRS for 2021 on the premise that the number of beneficiary public institutions has increased to 226 and with more burdens.

  “There is already a proposal by TETFund to the federal government to increase the education tax to three (3 per cent) and only waiting for action from National Assembly to facilitate the proposal and make it an Act. Also, there are lots of intervention activities not only in terms of physical infrastructures but even in research and staff capacity building developments expected of TETFund for tertiary schools. The fund had so far embarked in excess of 10,000 projects across the nation’s tertiary schools and that up to 50 per cent of the projects had been completed and impacting positively the beneficiaries and the economy at large.

  We, therefore, commended FIRS on the tax collection for that effort, because without them there would have been a serious financial crisis in the nation’s tertiary schools,” Imam said.

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  In his own remarks, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro said though there was a steady rise in education tax from 1999 to 2009 which he put at N5 billion to N139 billion and a decline in 2010 (N89 billion) and a big rise again in 2011(N128 billion), 2012 (N188 billion) and 2013 (N279 billion), the tax collected subsequently to date has been fluctuating.

  Bogoro also explained that President Muhammadu Buhari approved upward review of National Research Fund from N5 billion to N7.5 billion this year and also the establishment and funding of 12 centres of excellence, six medical research centres and six colleges of medicine across regions of the country.

  Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said though it was becoming more challenging to collect taxes as many individuals and companies ordinarily do not like to pay tax, the agency would employ all necessary machinery, especially technology to ensure it improves on its mandates.

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