President Bola Tinubu has justified the upward review of the three per cent Education Tax which began in September, saying it is in line with the Federal Government’s effort to achieve quality in the sector.
Tinubu made this disclosure on Friday at the commissioning of 11 projects constructed by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund at Gombe State University and an additional four at Federal College of Education Technical.
Represented by Minister of Transportation Saidu Alkali, Tinubu stressed that TETFund was at the forefront of ensuring renewed hope in education, adding that the students’ loan initiative was also another way his administration intends to improve tertiary education.
He said, “It is important to also commend and appreciate the President for the commitment he has demonstrated towards the development of education since the commencement of his administration on May 29, 2023, such as the introduction of the students’ loan initiative to ease access to tertiary education, as well as meeting personally with the leadership of some of the stakeholders in the sector and National Association of Nigerian Students to discuss the welfare of Nigerian students.
“You would also recall that in recognition of the role of TETFund in the development of public tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria, and in a bid to further support and strengthen the intervention activities of the Fund, the President also approved the implementation of the upward review of Education Tax to three per cent with effect from September 2023.
This will in no small measure contribute more to the improved funding of the education sector and development of our public tertiary institutions.”
On his part, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sony Echono, said the 11 projects at GSU gulped the fund over N4.5 billion, stressing that they were allocated between 2014 and 2021 and completions attained in 2023.
Echono said, “The projects to be commissioned today are 11 in number, and are those of the Special High Impact intervention, Special, Annual and Zonal interventions for which funds were allocated between 2014 and 2021, and completions successfully achieved between 2021 and 2023.
The total cost of these projects amounts to N4,591,813,389.70, all delivered successfully in line with the TETFund guidelines.”
According to him, following GSU’s establishment in 2004, the university became enlisted as a beneficiary of TETFund intervention programmes in 2006 and has remarkably continued in that stead to date, adding that about 86 per cent of funds have been accessed.
“Ever since, the university has asserted its dominance in this region and has as well earned a reputation in the delivery of very iconic projects which prominently the university’s landscape.
I will specifically mention that from its year of enlistment as a beneficiary of the Fund in 2006 to 2023, TETFund has allocated the sum of N15,272,720,784.00 for infrastructure-related interventions, cutting across the Annual, Special and Zonal interventions, amongst others,” Echono said.
On his part, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, lauded the efforts of the Federal Government towards improving the quality of education, adding that his administration would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders.
“Throughout the years, numerous individuals, including students and staff who have been associated with this University, have been contributing immensely to the progress of our nation, especially Gombe State.
“I want to assure you that, by the grace of God, we shall continue to remain committed to ensuring that the University reaches even greater heights. This can be achieved through our collective dedication and responsible actions,” he said.