The executive secretary of TETfund , Suleiman Bogoro, on Wednessday said the federal government may have started the process to increase the two percent education tax, with which it supports TETfund, to about four percent.
Mr. Bogoro said at a press conference that the Federal Ministry of Education had already sent a comprehensive report to the presidency in which it recommended an increase in the education tax from its present two percent to between three and four percent.
He said as soon as the presidency reviews the proposal for the increase in the education tax and the National Assembly commences the process of amending the TETfund Act to accommodate the increase, the fund will play the expected supportive role to facilitate the process.
He explained that the process will begin as soon as government gives the go ahead.
“For us at TETfund, it may just be that government has taken a decision and we are supposed to ensure that it is facilitated and whatever contribution we need to make to add to an Executive Bill emanating that would raise the collection from two to four percent,” he said.
He further said that it would mean a lot for TETfund, stating that TETfund act cannot be changed without legislation from the National Assembly.
The executive secretary, noted that the interventions by the fund in the areas of research and development have led improved performance of Nigerian universities, which according to him has also impacted on their ranking in Africa.
He said due to the aggressive intervention and concentration of government attention on public tertiary institutions and with massive support of TETFund, 28 Nigerian universities are ranked among the top 100 in Africa.
“We are not feeling good that we are still outside the 2,000 mark for the world. Out of the 1,000 global universities there are only five African universities, three from South Africa and two from Egypt,” he said.
He explained that Nigeria is yet to attain the mark, adding that TETfund remains embarrassed with the situation.
“If we increase the intervention and there is patriotic application of the funds in the priority areas, the ranking of our universities will begin to compete with the very best in the world,” he said.