TETFUND: Babalola makes case for private varsities
Founder of Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has urged the federal government to amend Section 7(1) of the Act which forbids private universities from benefiting from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Babalola, who spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Association of ProChancellors of Private Universities (APPNU) in Nigeria, which held in ABUAD,
Afe Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, described the exclusion of private universities from accessing the fund as unjust.
He argued that TETFUND was a levy on industrial establishments owned by private individuals as a form of their own contribution to educational advancement in the country, “but the federal government cornered it for the sole benefit of only government-owned institutions.
The ABUAD proprietor maintained that private educational institutions contribute as much to the advancement of education in the country as government owned ones, saying there was no justification for denying private institutions.
He recommended that any private university which operates on its permanent site with minimum of 20 of its academic programmes accredited by the National Universities’ Commission (NUC) and has also commenced its postgraduate studies should be considered fit to benefit from TETFUND, which should be for research and improvement of teaching facilities only.
Babalola said: “A careful reading of the relevant sections of the law shows that the intention of the lawmakers in imposing Education Tax on registered companies in Nigeria is for advancement of education to various levels and categories of education through rehabilitation, restoration and consolidation. Curiously, by the provisions of Section 7(1) of the Act, private institutions, including universities are excluded from benefitting from the funds collected from companies which are mainly private. TETFUND money should be given to private varsities that already show seriousness by being established on their own permanent sites and already have some minimum accreditation for the courses they run”.
He urged the ProChancellors’ Conference to seek means to sustain the quality of education in the country, noting that quality education was expensive anywhere in the world.