THE Chancellor and founder of Gregory University, Uturu (GUU), Abia State Prof. Gregory Ibe, says it is unjust for the Federal Government to continue to deny private universities the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFund), interventions.
In an interview, Sunday, with newsmen in his country home in Uturu, Isuikwuato Local Government Area of the state, the educationist regretted that private universities were excluded from TETFund programmes in spite of the fact that they have continued to pay the Education Tax, which is pooled into TETFund.
He said: “This is simply unjust. Federal Government feels that only government-owned tertiary institutions should benefit from TETFund programmes, forgetting that private institutions also contribute to the nation’s education growth.”
Ibe, who also spoke on the heavy taxes allegedly imposed on GUU by Isuikwuato council, state and federal governments, said that the university did not enjoy any moratorium as a fledgling investment as obtained in other parts of the world.
The chancellor said that the university authorities had made several representations to the governments for tax rebate but had only received promises in return.
According to him, “there is no where in the world where a new investment, such as GUU, would start paying tax at inception, without a period of moratorium.”
He therefore demanded a tax rebate for the university, given that it is a social service-oriented institution, contributing to national development.
He lamented that in spite of the huge taxes payable to the three tiers of government, there was no government support to the institution.
Pointing out that the access road to the university was in a deplorable condition and required more than N420 million to fix, Ibe said that the university had spent over N72 million in the effort to hook up to the national grid, as there is no public power supply anywhere in Uturu.
He disclosed that about N50 million was still needed to actualize the university’s electricity project.