25% Private university tax to go — Bawumia
The government will soon scrap the 25 per cent corporate tax imposed on private universities, the Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said.
The removal of the tax, he explained, was part of the government’s effort to strengthen private tertiary institutions to enable them to play their roles in national development.
Dr Bawumia made this known in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Tetteh, at the 11th Congregation of the Presbyterian University College of Ghana (PUCG) at Abetifi in the Eastern Region last Saturday.
In all, 874 students graduated in various disciplines.
Private universities, have over the years, made several appeals to successive governments to remove the tax, which they claimed was a huge financial burden on them.
Dr Bawumia reiterated the government's determination to strengthen education at all stages through adequate funding.
“Over the years, successive governments have been confronted with the challenge of inadequate funding for higher education. As part of efforts to tackle this, the government has committed itself to the establishment of a research fund for higher learning,” he said.
He congratulated the graduates and expressed the hope that they would contribute their quota towards the development of the country.
The President of PUCG, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng, said the university was introducing new professional programmes at the undergraduate level to contribute to national development.
They are Doctor of Optometry, Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science for which accreditation has been given, Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.
Rev. Prof Obeng said the programmes would give an advantage to the university in attracting students, including international students from the West African sub-region.
He said no institution of higher learning could lay claim to academic leadership without vibrant research grants.
For that reason, he indicated that the university, through its Faculty of Development Studies, had secured US$44,000 from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, an initiative for key investments in biodiversity conservation, to implement a 16- month project entitled: "Promoting conservation of endangered primates in three forest reserves in Ghana."
He added that the university was encouraging its faculties to network with research collaborators in order to boost the university’s research profile.
To strengthen its status internationally, Rev. Prof. Obeng said the university, in collaboration with the Canterbury Christ Church (CCCU) in the United Kingdom (UK), had begun establishing some linkages with some foreign universities.
He called on the government and its agencies responsible for employing nurses to reconsider their decision not to engage degree nurses trained by private educational institutions
"We also entreat the government to seriously consider the exportation of nurses to other countries, if the government feels that our health sector is now inundated with nurses, in order to curb the situation of unemployment," he said.
Rev. Prof. Obeng commended the University Council for providing the policy framework, strategic direction and stewardship and the right environment for the university to discharge its objectives and functions adequately.
The acting Chancellor of the university, Reverend Dr Victor Okoe Abbey, congratulated the graduates on their achievement.