…Seeks more collaboration
By Joseph Erunke
THE Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETfund, has commended the present management of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, over increased remittance of education tax to it.
Its Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said this when he led the management team of his organisation in appreciation to FIRS in Abuja.
Bogoro said: “It is good to acknowledge the goose that lay the golden egg as we are very comfortable in this house. Each time we meet in FIRS this is what we tell ourselves. This is because we witnessed the highest jump in the collection of the FIRS collection of two per cent of Education tax fund.”
He added:“The management of TETfund and the Board of the trustee is very excited and we have agreed that I should lead the management team to come and formally expressed our appreciation”.
“We are veritable partners in executing our mandate of applying the two per cent education tax which came to be in 1993 but the funds were applied in 1999 to 2010 under ETF. In 2011 it was refocused to the original concept of TETfund replacing ETF and the focus was very direct and that is for public tertiary institution specifically, federal and state universities, polytechnics and colleges od Education”.
According to him, from 2011 when TETfund takes place, it was just by halfway along the lines and that within that period, it has demonstrated a collection of 81 per cent and that means it is more effective when it became TETfund, so it necessary to come and appreciate the FIRS for the great job they are doing for the country,
“More importantly we always have a number of the interactive forum. For instance, we have joint interactive forum annually and through it, we have the privilege of having a report from FIRS and we also show them precisely what we have been doing with the money and we also have taxpayers forum where we have an opportunity to appreciate those that pay the tax that the FIRS collect and remit to us and of course we also have annual tax reconciliation exercise which is about to commence”
“We noticed that the Federal Ministry of Education had already proposed that the tax should be raised from two to three per cent and the process, of course, was led by the federal ministry of education and not by TETfund “.
“We sought the cooperation of the FIRS and they have always assured us, precisely since the arrival of the present chairman, he did promise that there will be a different and we have seen a difference and we said it is right to come and appreciate him and we are looking forward to exploring more avenues of increasing more collections of taxes”, he added.
“We have ensured in TETfund that we are responsible in applying the two per cent the money you collect with the sense of responsibility and that is why we can say without fear of contradiction that Nigerians acknowledged what we are doing with the money you collect with the sense of responsibility that the impact is manifested”
“We are determined to sustain and enhance performance in applying that money you collect and send to us. For the first time the University of Ibadan was ranked among the best 500 universities in the world and each time we met, the Vice-Chancellor did confess that it wouldn’t have been made possible without the intervention of TETfund”.
In his response, the Chairman, FIRS, Muhammed Mamman acknowledged the commendation and stated that the TETfund appreciation was a call to do more for the country and assured that, they we will do so.
According to him, FIRS achieved the fit because of the commitment on the part of taxpayers and the collaboration they have had with the agencies of government like TETfund in ensuring timely remittance of taxes and aggressive tax audit embarked upon by his colleagues and also the tax investigation that was carried out.
“Credit shouldn’t come to us, but to the taxpayers, particularly the agent of transportation and we called for their continued support if possible do more because we do know that there is more money in their hands that if remitted will help in the repositioning of the education sector for a better service to Nigerians and also to assure you that this we did, we operated in a very difficult terrain last year”.
“The challenges we have for this year is enormous. The fact is that companies last year passed through difficult times and we don’t expect them to turn in a good result. We are not anticipating to get positive returns from them this year because of the 2020 lockdown”.
He assured TETfund of continued support and partnership in ensuring the repositioning of the education sector which is the cardinal objective of the present administration.