Prof. Gregory Ibe, the Chancellor and Founder of Gregory University, Uturu (GUU) in Abia, says it is unjust for the Federal Government to continue to deny private universities the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) interventions.
Ibe said this in an interview with newsmen in his country home in Uturu, Isuikwuato Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.
He regretted that while private universities continued to pay the Education Tax, which is pooled into TETFund, they were excluded from its programmes.
He said, “It is simply unjust to continue to deny private universities the benefit of the TETFund largesse after paying the Education Tax, which makes up the TETFund.
“Federal Government feels that only government-owned tertiary institutions should benefit from TETFund programmes, forgetting that private institutions also contribute to the nation’s education growth.”
Ibe also spoke on the heavy taxes allegedly imposed on GUU by Isuikwuato council, state and federal governments.
He said that the university did not enjoy any moratorium as a fledgeling investment as obtained in other parts of the world.
According to him, “there is nowhere in the world where new investment, such as GUU, would start paying tax at inception, without a period of moratorium.”
The chancellor said that the university authorities had made several representations to the governments for tax rebate but had only received promises in return.
He, therefore, demanded a tax rebate for the university, given that it is a social service-oriented institution, contributing to national development.
He regretted that, in spite of the huge taxes payable to the three tiers of government, there was no government support to the institution.
He said that the access road to the university was in a deplorable condition and required more than N420 million to fix.
Ibe also said that the university had spent over N72 million in the effort to hook up to the national grid, pointing out that there was no public power supply anywhere in Uturu.
He said that about N50 million was still needed to actualise the electricity project.