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Tax Experts Fault ASUU’s Demand For Education Tax Increase

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The appeal of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to increase education tax to 10 percent has been criticised by tax experts.

Investors King recalls the statement made by the ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osedeke in an interview, lamenting poor funding of Nigerian tertiary institutions. He proposed a 10 percent tax to improve the situation.

A Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, on his part opposed ASUU’s proposal noting that education tax was recently increased from 2.5 percent to 3 percent last year.

Oyedele pointed out that when several taxes including income tax, police tax, technology tax and others a calculated, each company will be paying over 40 percent which is on the high side.

He stated, “For those of us who are involved in tax matters, I can tell you authoritatively that one basis point of education tax rate is equivalent to two basis points of companies income tax rate because it is calculated on a much larger base than companies income tax.

“This is one of the highest in the world for a country where you need to attract investments. It is even higher than the OECD. The problem that we have in the educational sector is not by increasing the burden on the private sector to fund them. The fundamental question is that over the last 10 years, education tax has contributed over N2tn to that sector. Who is explaining how that money has been spent?” he asked.

Also speaking on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Derivatives Company, Bismark Rewane stressed that such tax increase is not needed at the moment drawing the attention of the government to other means of funding education. 

Rewane advised that money gotten from subsidies can be largely transferred to fund education.

He further encouraged scholarship opportunities, grants and bursaries from the government and private firms

His words, “that is another knee-jerk reaction with all due respect to ASUU. What have we achieved with the 2.5 per cent Tertiary Education Tax? We should look at how utilisation of tax proceeds has been as well as its impact.”

“I believe a much more viable option is to give scholarships, grants and bursaries so that people can have education. Free, compulsory and quality education is a right.”

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JAMB Cancels Registrations of 817 UTME Candidates Over False Biometric Fingerprints

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced the cancellation of 817 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) registrations in 2023.

Investors King gathered that the cancelled UTME registrations were as a result of false biometric fingerprints detected in the candidates’ registrations.

The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede however, stated that the 817 persons whose registrations were invalidated would be given another opportunity to re-register for the examination while the centres will bear the new cost of registrations.

Prof. Oloyede, who spoke after separate meetings with stakeholders said, it was observed that some registration officers in about 178 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres used their fingerprints to complete the registration process instead of the candidates’ fingerprints which led to the registration cancellation. 

While the JAMB boss explained that some UTME candidates were naive due to the device used hence the officers using their fingerprints, he also posited that some did that intentionally for malpractice and impersonation but such cases were difficult to decipher.

His words, “For the students who allowed other people to add their fingers to their registration procedure. We found that some of them were only naive, because you will hear them saying my finger was hot, and the man added his own. And you allowed him to add his own? 

“Some of them did it deliberately for impersonation but we can’t identify those who are genuine from those who are not genuine. We will cancel all the registrations and we will ask them to re-register.

“The centres involved, we have just met with them, and they all confessed. Nobody is disputing it, even students that were telling lies, they know we have the technology that won’t allow any lie to be accommodated. On their own, the CBT owners suggested the solution. We will cancel the registrations of those people concerned and we will send a message to them to go back to the very centres  where they were registered and the CBT centres will pay to the board the cost of registration of the candidates.”

The JAMB Registrar warned candidates against allowing the capture of another person’s fingerprints during their registration process, noting that the device will detect any strange fingerprint added.

Giving an update on the recent suspension of five CBT centres who were caught selling UTME registration pins above JAMB fixed price, Prof. Oloyede said the suspension has been lifted from four of the five centers after explanations and apologies were tendered.

He added that the erred CBT centres will refund the excess amount to the board who will forward it to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to decide on what the money will be used for, as candidates had been warned severally not to pay above the approved pin price.

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Teaching Jobs in UK: Eligibility Criteria Amended as Application Begins February 1

Most teachers from Nigeria, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe had expressed happiness as they meet the criteria.

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The chances of potential applicants for the teaching jobs announced by the United Kingdom have reduced as the country has amended the requirements for the recruitment exercise.

Following the initial eligibility criteria released for applicants for the job, Investors King had gathered that most teachers from Nigeria, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe had expressed happiness as they meet the criteria and we’re set to apply for the once it starts in February 1, 2023.

But, most interested persons from the highlighted countries, it was gathered, may not be able to meet up as UK Department for Education has added fresh criteria for the job.

The United Kingdom government had also factored its citizens among those qualified to go for the teacher status.

The Department for Education had in its Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which will enable non-UK indigenes find teaching jobs across the country, had only stated that applicants who major in subjects such as Mathematics, Sciences and some Language Subjects are eligible to apply.

According to the statement earlier published on its website for the job, interested applicants were asked to apply for the QTS through the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

The information had stated that teachers from all eligible countries will have to show they meet a consistent set of criteria for the award of the QTS.

As interested persons were waiting for February 1 for them to apply, the UK Education Department announced some changes to the eligibility criteria.

In the amended eligibility criteria, some subjects were removed while other qualifications were added.

As seen on the UK government website, the corrected notice disclosed that there will be a subject eligibility restriction in some countries including Nigeria, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

According to the UK government, the move was to ensure it offers efficient and consistent service to all applicants for the job.

Among the reasons it gave for the amendment was for UK to prioritise the subject specialisms that are majorly needed by schools in England.

While disclosing that the restriction of the subject eligibility is temporary, the government said the change would allow it handle applications timely as they are being received.

It noted that the countries affected would be continued to be updated on further steps and that other subject of some areas of specialisations would be opened by May 2023.

Other qualifications added for applicants from Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa or Zimbabwe included that they must also have one of the qualifications it newly released.

The qualifications are: a teaching qualification that meets the standard of a level 6 qualification qualifying you to teach children aged 11 to 16 in mathematics, languages or science; a teaching qualification that meets the standard of a level 6 qualification qualifying you to teach children aged 11 to 16, and a bachelor’s degree made up of at least 50% mathematics, science or a language (excluding English) taught in English state schools, for example: French, German. Italian, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish.

The change may drop the number of qualified in Nigeria and other countries listed.

 

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2023 UTME, Direct Entry: JAMB Begins Sales of Forms on Saturday, Announces Deadlines

The sale of forms for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) for prospective applicants today (Saturday).

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Barring any change in plans, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said it would start the sale of forms for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) for prospective applicants today (Saturday).

Investors King gathers that the UTME is an assessment examination conducted annually by JAMB for candidates who want to secure admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Prospective candidates are expected to purchase their forms and commence registration from today, Saturday, January 14, 2023.

JAMB also disclosed that it would close the sale of forms and registration of candidates on Tuesday, February 14.

Also, the board started the sale of Direct Entry (DE) application documents in Nigeria and foreign centres, adding that direct entry applicants from Polytechnics and Colleges of Education can obtain their forms from centres close to them.

It further stated that candidates applying for the entrance examination into the various tertiary institutions in Nigeria are advised to keep in mind that PIN vending for the UTME examination would also end on Tuesday, February 14, while the registration portal will be shut down on Friday, February 17.

This process is also applicable to foreign students at the accredited JAMB registration centre.

Moreover, candidates have been admonished to open a new email or have a valid existing email account before starting the process as part of the requirements to sit for the examination.

For the general entry candidates seeking admission into the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, are required to have at least five (5) credit grades in their O’level with English and Mathematics compulsory to qualify them to sit for the examination.

However, the direct entry candidates are to obtain a minimum of five (5) credit grades in their O’level with English and Mathematics compulsory as well as a distinction or upper credit in their polytechnic or college of education.

The general and direct entry candidates are allowed to use not more than two sittings of their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) certificate to qualify them for the examination ahead of the 2023 academic session across all tertiary institutions in the country.

For admission into first degree, National Diploma (ND), National innovation Diploma (NID) and Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) programmes, five (5) O level credit passes including English Language are required while credit in Mathematics is required for law and science-based and social science programmes.

A statement by JAMB had disclosed that the Direct Entry (DE) registration would commence from Monday, 20th February and run till Thursday, 20th April, 2023.

JAMB spokesman, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in the statement, confirmed that the decision was taken at the end of JAMB’s management meeting.

It further said that Saturday, 29th April, 2023, had been fixed for the conduct of the 2023 UTME, and the examination was expected to run till Monday, 12th May, 2023.

JAMB added that it had also fixed Thursday, 16th March, 2023, for the conduct of its optional mock-UTME.

It noted that interested candidates would be required to pay the sum of N1000 service charge for Computer Based Test (CBT) centres for the conduct of mock examination at the point of registration so as to prevent a situation where candidates would indicate interest to sit for the mock-UTME leading the various centres to commit human and material resources only to stay away on the day of the examination.

 

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