The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has said that it received N189 billion as Education Tax collection (EDT) in 2021.
Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, announced this at its 2021 Education Development Tax (EDT) forum on Tuesday in Jos.
The forum, organised in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), aimed at improving EDT in the country.
The event tagged “Improving EDT Collection in the Post Pandemic Era”, had participants from various higher institutions of learning and other government organisations.
Bogoro, who was represented by Mr Irene Erivwo, the Director Strategic Planning and Development of TETFUND, said that the figures generated in the year under review were far lower compared to previous years.
He, however, explained that the advent of COVID-19 pandemic had grossly affected the revenue generation in the nation, hence the need for deeper collaboration toward scaling up the generation of EDT.
“Over the years, TETFUND has been recording improvement in the education tax collection.
“For example, in 2013, the Fund had an EDT of more than N270 billion and since then FIRS has been striving to achieve the annual EDT targets in spite the obvious challenges.
“In 2021, the fund received an EDT collection of N189 billion, which was considerably lower than the previous years.
“COVID-19 pandemic, no doubt affected economic activities globally and this had negative effect in the EDT collection for 2021.
“We are equally aware that economic activities were seriously slowed down and, in some cases, halted from March 2020 when lock-down was imposed and movement within the country restricted.
“This affected the performance of industries and companies which invariably affected the EDT collection for 2021,” he said.
Bogoro, who said the forum is an annual event, added that it would avail TETFUND and FIRS the opportunity to barnstorm on ways to improve EDT collection.
He said that the forum created an opportunity for the enhancement of the existing working relationship between the two organisations.
“This forum is a yearly platform that the Fund and FIRS engages in strategic discussion on EDT collection.
“It has become necessary for us to increase our drive in EDT collection to enable the fund meet up with the challenges and its commitment to the development of our tertiary education system.
“It is worrisome that the EDT collection for 2021 was far below the target set for the year, hence the need for such forum to address these issues,” he added.
Bogoro, however, noted that TETFUND had recorded significant impact on infrastructural development, adding that the National Research Fund (NRF) has increased from N5 billion to N7.5 billion in 2020 and N8.5 billion in 2021.
The executive secretary added that the fund funded the establishment of centres of excellence each in twelve selected institutions between 2020 and 2021.
He said that it has started a capacity building programme for beneficiary institutions aimed at improving the global competitiveness and visibility universities, entrepreneurship and skills development for polytechnics and pedagogy skills and curriculum development for colleges of education.
Muhammad Nami, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, described the forum as timely, adding that it would foster relationship and create opportunity for exchange of ideas toward the actualisation of their mandates.
Represented by Dr Dick Irri, the Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group of FIRS, Nami acknowledged that 2021 was indeed a challenging year.
He, however, said that it had put modalities on ground, including the deployment of a home-grown technology and that more taxes would be collected in 2022.
He maintained that the newly developed software known as “Taxpromax”, would enable taxpayers file and pay taxes with ease.