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Don recommends special tax for graduates

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The Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of
the University of West England, Bristol, United
Kingdom, Prof. Paul Olomolaiye, says the
Nigerian system of taxation should be
readjusted such that employed graduates and
non-graduates would pay separate kinds of
taxes.
Olomolaiye said it would be unfair for
employed non-graduates to pay tax that would
be used in developing universities which they
never attended.
He said, however, that graduates paying a two
to three per cent additional tax that would be
used in developing universities was equitable as
it would be a way of giving back to the system.
The professor of Construction Engineering said
this during a public lecture organised by the
Department of Economics at the University of
Lagos, Akoka on Thursday.
At the event themed, The Economics of
Publication in Nigeria: The Way Forward,
Olomolaiye added that there was need for
students to be granted loans as being practised
in developed countries.
He said, “ASUU (Academic Staff Union of
Universities) protested against the government
for seven months last year after fighting that
the percentage of the GDP being spent on
higher education is simply too small and is
crippling public universities.
“I agree with all of this but I think the simple
fact is that the current funding system is
fundamentally flawed as it has no provision
that those benefitting from being graduates are
really paying back their dues and not cheating
the 80 per cent of the population who did not
attend higher institutions and are paying for
what we have all benefitted from through
taxes.
“Those who have benefitted should put
something back for the university education
financial equilibrium to be maintained.
“My guess is that there will be a 200 per cent
difference in the earnings of Nigerian graduates
and non-graduates. A two to three per cent
graduate tax will raise significant sums for the
Nigerian university sector and ensure that a
carpenter’s tax is not used to fund public
universities in which not only has he not
benefitted from but has possibly been severely
disadvantaged.”
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG,
Prof Rahmon Bello, said insecurity in the nation
was being fuelled by the Almajiri system of
education in the northern part of the country.
He added that the government had failed to set
out specific goals it wanted the educational
system to achieve.
He said, “There is an urgent need to develop
an effective and efficient public education
system that will push out the best results in
our graduates of secondary and tertiary
institutions with respect to skill acquisition,
communication skill, creativity and
entrepreneurship thereby launching Nigeria into
the 21st century.”
The Head of the Economics Department, Prof.
Ndubuisi Nwokoma, noted that there was a
correlation between economics and the quality
of education. He said if the universities and the
government could address the issue of funding,
the standard of education would improve.

_Punch.

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