The Federal Government plans to generate N500 billion from the education tax in 2021.
This target, if achieved, would boost funding of several ongoing infrastructures initiated by the Tertiary Education Fund (Tetfund) in higher institutions across the country.
To this end, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Tetfund, Kashim Imam, charged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to improve its collection strategy to exceed the earlier target of N277 billion for 2021.
Imam spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during the 2020 TetFund/FIRS Interactive Forum with stakeholders in the South-South Zone tagged ‘New Thrust in Improving the EDT Collection During COVID-19 Pandemic for Effective Service Delivery of the Mandate of the Fund’.
Imam expressed the belief that with dedication and commitment to duty, the target would be achieved despite challenges posed by the pandemic.
He revealed that earlier, a target of N277 billion was set for 2021, but charged the FIRS to ensure that the target is surpassed by more than 10 per cent increase.
“As of September this year, we had N235 billion collected already. That means that by December, we would have collected the N277 billion target.
“We should be looking at the region of N500 billion. We should not be looking at 10 per cent increase on N277 billion, that is not good enough. We should target N500 billion. I will do everything to support you, and I will support and consult for free to ensure we achieve this.”
The Tetfund board chairman commended companies for paying their EDT as at when due, calling on others who are not up to date to give attention to the tax, which he stated is used for research and educational development.
The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said that the agency would exceed the targets set by Tetfund for 2020 and 2021.
Represented by the Coordinating Director, Ezra Zuberu, Nami recalled that in 2019, the FIRS collected N214 billion EDT from companies.
He stated that as of October 2020, the agency had collected N251 billion, adding that it would attain the set target despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.