Federal government, through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has injected more than N2.5 trillion in the development of infrastructure and staff in public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria in the last 10 years of establishment of the Fund.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of (TETFund), Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, who made this known yesterday, also disclosed that the agency is targeting more than N500 billion education tax collection by 2023.
Speaking at the third edition of Tax Payers’ Forum with theme: TETFUND Intervention: Catalyst for Transforming Tertiary Education in Nigeria”, held in Lagos, he also promised to ensure that intervention to the beneficiary institutions be increased by 50 per cent next year and 100 per cent in two years.
Ibrajim-Imam disclosed that for this year alone, TETFund budgeted the sum of N300 billion to be used for over 226 higher institutions across the country in 2021.
He noted that the agency had budgeted N120 billion for education in 2020, adding that this was increased to N300 billion in 2021, while tasking the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on increasing the education tax collection to N500 billion in the next two years.
According to him, more than N30 billion was set aside for academic staff training in various institutions across the country.
Ibrahim-Imam said in response to the challenges of acute shortage of hostels in universities in the country, the Board of Trustee of TETfund has approved construction of 160,000 additional bed spaces in institutions across the country.
Also speaking, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Olufemi Hamzat, insisted that funding for the education sector must be prioritised, noting that TETFund was then established as a child of necessity to intervene in the ailing universities’ system and that universities in Nigeria would have been worse than the current situation without TETFund.
Minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Pro-chancellor of University of Benin, Dr Sonny Kuku, commended the stakeholders for their contribution, while assuring them of determination of federal government to transform the entire landscape of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
On his part, executive secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, in his welcome address, said the Tax Payers’ Forum served as platform to honour and identify individuals and companies that have made tremendous contributions to education through consistent payment of education tax and have invariably contributed to the development of education and by extension, that of the entire nation.
He explained that companies, through the FIRS, remit the two per cent education tax annually to TETFund for allocation and onward disbursement to beneficiary institutions across the country.