The Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFund, has set a target of N500 billion education tax collection for the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, in 2021.
Chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees, BoT, Alhaji Kashim Imam, who dropped the hint at the 2020 TETFund/FIRS Joint Interactive Forum in Ilorin, Kwara State, said the new target was necessary as the number of beneficiary public institutions has risen to 226.
Imam said the fund was on course to surpass the N277 billion mark set for 2020, adding that as at September, education tax collection had already hit N251 billion, and that the figure could rise up to N300 billion by the end of December 2020.
“I am happy to report that for about two to three years now we have been in the region of N250 billion. TETFund’s budget for this year was N250 billion; for this year, TETFund gave the Federal Inland Revenue Service a target of N277 billion for the year 2020. We are very much on course not only to actualise that target but to surpass that target.
“As at the end of September, collection was in the region of N251 billion; if we are lucky, we may actually hit N300 billion by 31st of December.
‘We have set a new target already for 2021 and that target is the sun of N500 billion. Considering the magnitude of the challenges facing tertiary education in Nigeria, we cannot afford to do less,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the forum titled, “New Trust in Sustaining the EDT Collection During Covid-19 Pandemic for Effective Service Delivery of the Mandate of the Fun,” he said TETFund was not comfortable with just sustaining collection as each year the fund makes effort to ensure improvement in its tax collection.
Imam noted that the fund has interacted with the Federal Inland Revenue Service over the 2021 target and FIRS made committment toward meeting the N500 billion mark set by TETFund.
“The partnership between TETFund and FIRS is one that is made in heaven. And it has has worked effectively in the past nine years in addressing lunch, all the problems of tertiary institutions across the country.
He assured that TETFund’s Board of Trustees was determined to do more and prove that public agencies can deliver services to the people with integrity, adding that the fund was determined to impact more and achieve more.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said TETFund and FIRS have forged a relationship that has endured for 27 years since an act was enacted establishing the education tax fund.
Nami, who was represented by the FIRS Director in charge of Ondo, Ekiti and Kwara, Mr Ishola Akingbode, said the agency moved from zero tax activities to perform greatly in 2013, adding that the collection for 2020 will exceed what was collected previously.
He said a lot of modalities are put in place to ensure seamless collection of the 2 per cent education tax collection, adding that despite being a difficult year, FIRS has put machinery in place to ensure that taxes are collected.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, stressed the need to increase the drive for education tax collection as the Covid-19 pandemic has affected economic activities and could likely effect education tax.
Bogoro said since 2013, when education tax collection rose to N279 billion, FIRS has been striving to achieve the annual 2 per cent education tax collections.
Represented by the Director Finance, TETFund, Alhaji Idris Saidu, the TETFund boss noted that over the years, the fund has performed creditably well notwithstanding the increased number of institutions and limited resources.
He said the fund was taking practical steps to put the nation on a revolutionary path of a knowledge-based economy by ensuring increase of the national research fund to N7.5, establishment of 12 centres of excellence and inauguration of a standing Committee on R&D to facilitate and accelerate the outcome of research.
The TETFund team also took time to tour TETFund projects at University of Ilorin, Kwara State Polytechnic Ilorin, Nigerian Army College of Education, Ilorin, and Kwara State University Matele.
Cutting Costs of Governance: Presidency Should Lead Way – Ogunwale
A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Osun State, Senator Felix Ogunwale has said the Nigerian presidency should lead the way for others to follow in cutting down cost of governance.
Senator Ogunwale spoke on Wednesday in Osogbo while fielding question from a panel at a programme, The Frontliners’ organised by the Osun State Chapter of Association of Veteran Journalists, AVJ.
He said the right thing to be done was for the president of the country to show commitment to changing the narrative by not only asking Nigerians to endure the current hardship but to demonstrate the willingness to also make all arms of government to also feel the impact in their budget.
“I have always said it that we are note being driven by ideas in Nigeria but money. You can’t be asking those in the National Assembly to reduce their pay now when in actual sense the reason for some of them being their is to amaze wealth.
“Do you know what to correct this, it’s if our president, I am not referring to the current president, it’s the day our president decide to be riding bicycle to his office, the day the balance in his account is not more than 10 million, the day our president refuses to take more aides than it’s necessary, the day our president doesn’t believe in amazing wealth.”
The chairman of the event, Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji who also shared the views of the guest urged the people of the State to continue to support the Administration of Senator Ademola Adeleke to be able to achieve his dream of developing all sectors of the State.
He commeded the AVJ for championing such efforts geared towards charting a way forward on how to achieve all round growth and development of the society and the nation at large.
Earlier, the chairman, AVJ, Adepoju Atobatele had described the programme as another opportunity to get Nigerians engaged on salient issues of national and global dimensions on the Front Liners.
Atobatele said, the association considered it a duty as professionals in the pen fraternity, to deepen democracy by constantly provoking Intellectual disputes that would widen public horizon of issues that are germane to the wellbeing, progress, security as well galvanizing interest in the affairs of the Country.
He said “The FRONTLINERS has been very active in widening discussions and analytical assessments of issues, events and personalities involved in determining the socio-economic and political directions of our dear Country, Nigeria.
“These we are carrying out successfully with the resources available to us in different ways, through the instrumentality of the Media.
“Ours as a professional body of retired media practitioners, still active in the concept of information management, has thus taken it as a sacred duty to act as change agents in a society yearning for objective information dissemination.”
IMO: Oyetola holds bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Jamaica
…as Nigeria sets to sign MoU with Saudi Arabia
The minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday, continued bilateral discussions with ministers and representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Jamaica, expressing Nigeria’s government interest in learning from their knowledge and experiences.
This was revealed through his media aide, Ismail Omipidan, in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.
Recall that Oyetola, on Monday, held bilateral meetings with representatives of Greece, Qatar, and Mexico, on the sidelines of the ongoing 33rd General Assembly session of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, in London, United Kingdom.
During his meeting with the Brazilian Chief of the Navy’s General Staff, Adm José Augusto V. da Cunha de Menezes, the minister said Nigeria would want to learn from the operations of the Brazilian coast guards, as the ministry was desirous of setting up one so as to further secure the maritime space and the country’s waterways.
Oyetola further noted that: “We want to also focus on sectors such as Marine Renewable Energy, Marine Mining, Subsea Cabling and Piping, Marine Genetics, and Biotechnology, so as to grow the marine and blue economy.
“As we continue to expand and develop the activities of the sector, there will be need to deepen security architecture within the maritime space. In this regard, we are considering setting up Coast Guards and we believe that they will complement the existing security architecture to further secure our maritime space.”
The minister while expressing Nigeria’s desire to tap into technology to revolutionalise the maritime sector, further said “technology and innovation are vital for boosting Nigeria’s trade and investment prospects within the Marine and Blue Economy. Advanced marine technologies, including innovations in maritime logistics and smart logistics solutions, will significantly enhance the efficiency and sustainability of maritime transport and port operations, making Nigerian ports more competitive globally.”
Oyetola also met the newly elected Vice President of IMO, who is the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem and Saudi Arabia’s Saleh bin Nasser AIJasser, who is the minister in charge of the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services of Saudi Arabia, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Both Saudi Arabia and Nigeria during the meeting agreed to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cement their corporations, collaboration and partnership in the maritime space.
Twelve Calender Months Of Pace Setting Achievements – Odelade Hails Gov. Adeleke
The Special Adviser to Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke on Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency RUWESA, Chief Lanre Odelade has described the one year Administration of Governor Adeleke as pace setting.
Speaking with newsmen today,the Special Adviser says, the tactful method of Intervention in critical areas of the state’s economy and social welfare has given out the Administration as commited to the welfare and advancement of their living conditions.
Chief Odelade particularly lauded the state government for it’s quick response to correcting the infrastructural deficit,impaired health care delivery,and neglect of public sector workers,all of which were inherited from the previous ApC Governments.
The Special Adviser particularly noted the swift response of Government to water Provision which led to the sinking of solar and generator powered bore holes to the 332 wards in the state.
Chief Odelade is optimistic that Governor Ademola Adeleke will consolidate on the gains of the past one year with renewed focus on taking the local government Administration from the duldrums to the centre stage of development and self reliance in accordance with the five point agenda of the state government.
He called on the people to give maximum support to Governor Ademola Adeleke in his determined efforts to take Osun state to the promised land.
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