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TETFund tasks FIRS on N500bn target for 2021

The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Ibrahim Kashim Imam, has challenged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on the need to generate N500 billion revenue by next year to enable the intervention agency execute more projects in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

Iman, who spoke yesterday at an interactive forum organised for TETFund and FIRS in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, stressed the need for the revenue/tax agency to surpass its 2020 Education Tax collection target of N277 billion to N500 billion in 2021.

The theme of the forum was “New Thrust in Sustaining the EDT Collecting during COVID-19 Pandemic for Effective Service Delivery of the mandate of the Fund.” The BOT chairman, who noted that despite the challenges posed by the COVID- 19 pandemic, the new target is achievable, further expressed optimism that the target for FIRS was achievable despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

He said: “I challenge the FIRS to do more than they are currently doing. The figure for this year is N277 billion and for next year, 2021, the target is N500 bil- lion. That is the target we set for FIRS.

“As of September, this year, we have N235 billion collected already. That means that by December, we would have collected the N277 billion target. We should be looking at a region of N500 billion. We should not be looking at a 10 per cent increase; 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.”

On his part, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who was represented by the Coordinating Director, FIRS, Ezra Zubairu, pledged that the Service would help TETFund in achieving its target in 2021.

“We will do everything to ensure that the plans of TETFund are achieved. We will ensure that all the funds are mobilised in executing projects in the tertiary institution. This year there has been the challenge of COVID-19, but that has not deterred us.

We are working to ensure that the taxes are collected and used accordingly. As at October 2019, we generated N214 billion, and at the same period in 2020, we generated N251 billion. We promise that we will surpass the targets given to us for this year and even for next year,” he said.

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