The Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) has set a revenue projection of N500bn from Education Tax in 2021.
TETFUND, therefore, appealed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to improve its collection strategies to surpass its earlier target of N277bn for 2021.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees, TETFUND, Alhaji Kashim Imam, spoke on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the 2020 TetFund/FIRS Interactive Forum with stakeholders in the South-South Zone.
Imam said the 2020 target of N277bn could still be achieved despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic disclosing that out of the amount, N235bn was received in September.
He said though same projection was set for 2021, FIRS should try to surpass it by more than 10 per cent increase.
Imam said: “I challenge the FIRS to do more than they are doing. The figure for this year is 277bn for 2020. For next year, 2021, the target is N277bn. That is the target we set for FIRS.
As at September, this year we have 235bn collected already. That means by December we would have collected the 277bn target.
“We should be looking at the region of N500bn. We should not be looking at 10% increase on N277bn that is not good enough. We should target N500bn. I will do everything to support you, and I will support and consult for free to ensure we achieve this.”
Imam hailed companies for paying their Education Tax (EDT) as at when due and called on others to give attention to EDT insisting that the tax was being used for research and educational development of the country.
He said: “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’s desire was to reach 50 universities soon; adding that the University of Port Harcourt and Lagos State University had 68 ongoing projects, while University of Lagos had 75 projects.
Imam said: “We are to go to 50 universities. We have gone round to see things for ourselves and it is established that TETFUND is 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 have done exceedingly well.”
In his remarks, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, promised that the service would surpass the targets set by TETFUND.
Nami, who was represented by Coordinating Director, FIRS, Ezra Zuberu, disclosed that in 2019, the Services collect 214bn EDT from companies.
Nami said that as at October 2020, FIRS collected N251bn, adding that it would attain the set target despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
He said: “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 N214bn. As at October, 2020, we have gathered N251bn. We will surpass the targets given to us for this year and even for next year.”