The Tertiary Education Trust Fund has reiterated its call for the upward review of the education tax to three per cent.
According to Leadership, TETFund executive secretary, Mr. Sonny Echono, represented by the Director, Strategy, Planning and Development of the Fund, Irene Erivwo, made this known on Thursday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State while speaking at the 2022 Joint Interactive Forum organised by the Fund and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Erivwo said the need to boost education tax collection for the purpose of advancing tertiary education in Nigeria, was further proven by recent successes recorded in its various intervention projects and programmes in beneficiary institutions.
He said, “The need to boost education tax collection for the purpose of advancing tertiary education in Nigeria, is further underscored by recent successes that have been recorded through in the various intervention projects and programmes delivered by the Fund in beneficiary institutions.
“This has warranted as well as justified the call for a further upward review of the education tax rate to 3 percent. This is also in tandem with goals of different economies, which holds true not just for Nigeria but for most of Africa, where governments were already struggling to bring in adequate tax revenues before the pandemic and are presently faced with an even more precarious situation as their debts become more difficult to manage.
“Further to this, it is imperative to ensure that the education tax net expands to cover as much as is possible so as to further improve the tertiary education sector. It is also important to consistently initiate and sustain proactive measures such as auditing.”
In his address, the FIRS chairman, Muhammad Nami, said despite several recent odds, the organisation has continued to make progress on revenue mobilisation for the three tiers of government.
Nami, who was represented by the Coordinator, Rivers, Edo and Delta States, Alhaji Hamisu Mohammed, stated that the reforms undertaken since 2020 have started yielding the desired results.
He said: “It is noteworthy that despite the economic headwinds, particularly from negative consequences of Covid-19, rising insecurity and the spill-over effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on the global economy, FIRS has continued to make progress in revenue mobilization for the three tiers of government.
“Suffice to say that FIRS is now funding a significant portion of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in the last two years.
“Between January to September 2022, FIRS has collected N7.5 trillion, which is a significant improvement on the total collection of M6.4 trillion for the entire 2021.
“Non-oil taxes accounted for N4.3 trillion while petroleum profits tax accounted for N3.2 trillion. It is clear that the reforms undertaken since 2020 have started yielding the desired results.”