TETFUND: Ba­balola makes case for pri­vate var­si­ties

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Doyin Ade­busuyi, Ado Ek­iti

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.

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