The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, has commended the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service for the increased remittance of the statutory education tax to the fund.
Bogoro made the commendation on Thursday in Abuja when he led the management team of TETfund on an appreciation visit to FIRS.
He said: “The management of TETfund and the Board of trustee are very excited and we agreed that I should lead the management team to come and formally express our appreciation”.
“We are veritable partners in executing our mandate of applying the two percent education tax, which came to be in 1993, but the funds were only applied from 1999 to 2010 under ETF.
“In 2011, it was refocused to its original concept of TETfund, replacing ETF, and the focus was very direct and that is for public tertiary institutions specifically, federal and state Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.”
According to Bogoro, from 2011, when TETfund took over, just half way along the line and since then, it had demonstrated collection of 81 per cent, with the Federal Ministry of Education already proposing that the education tax be raised from two per cent to three per cent without any instigation from TETfund.
He added: “More importantly, we always have a number of interactive forums.
“For instance, we have a joint interactive forum annually, and through it we had the privilege of receiving a report from the FIRS and we also showed them precisely what we have been doing with the money.
“We also have a Tax Payers’ forum, where we have an opportunity to appreciate those that pay the tax that the FIRS collects and remits to us, and of course we also have an annual tax reconciliation exercise, which is just about to commence.
“We sought the cooperation of the FIRS and they have always assured us, precisely since the arrival of the present chairman, that things will be done differently and we have seen a difference.
Bogoro said that TETfund had always demonstrated responsibility in applying the two per cent tax collected and used it for the development of education.
He said: “We are determined to sustain and enhance performance in applying that money you collect and send to us.
“For the first time, the University of Ibadan was ranked among the best 500 universities in the world, and each time we meet, the Vice Chancellor did confess that it would not have been made possible without the intervention of TETfund.”
Also speaking, the FIRS Chairman, Muhammed Nami, acknowledged the commendation and stated that TETfund’s appreciation was a call to do more for the country, while assuring that more would be done.
Nami commended the tax payers for their commitment as well as the collaboration with agencies of government like TETfund in ensuring timely remittance of taxes and aggressive tax audit and also the tax investigation that was carried out.
He said: “Credit should not come to us but to the tax payers, particularly the agents of transportation, and we call for their continued support if possible do more.
“This is because we do know that there is more money in their hands that, if remitted, will help in repositioning the education sector, for better service to Nigerians and also to assure you that this we did, as we operated in a very difficult terrain last year”.
“The challenges we have for this year is enormous.
“The fact is that companies, last year, passed through difficult times and we do not expect them to turn in good results.
“We are not anticipating to get positive returns from them this year because of the 2020 lockdown.”
Nami, however, assured TETfund of continued support and partnership in ensuring the repositioning of the education sector, a cardinal objective of the present administration.