The Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University (UCU), Dr. John Senyonyi, has demanded that private institutions of higher learning be exempt from Income and Value Added Tax (VAT) taxes.
Senyonyi said there was need for Parliament to enact a law that will exempt taxes of those institutions that are only focused at offering the educational service. He added that the Government should only levy Income and VAT on profit-oriented institutions of learning.
At the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the UCU’s Kampala Campus at Musajja Alumbwa Road next to Eagle’s Nest Primary School, last week, Ssenyonyi addressed the State minister for Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo, saying, : “I appeal to Government that one of the biggest support that can be given to us is tax exemption, you know the Value Added Tax makes buildings extremely expensive for us.”
He informesd the minister that for the construction of the university library at the main campus, UCU had paid 600,000 US dollars in taxes. He complained that such a whooping amount could be used for laboratories.
Muyingo, who presided over the ground-breaking ceremony, praised UCU for its contribution to development of the country’s human resource and pledged to communicate the request for tax waivers to Cabinet for discussion. “I pledge to support Uganda Christian University in all its development efforts. I will carry the message; it was very clear about the taxes and I will I give feedback as soon as I get the answer.”Muyingo added.
He said that Universities have a big role to contribute towards attaining the country’s vision 2040 by effecting reforms in the curriculum to ensure that they offer high quality education to produce graduates who are globally competitive, professional, morally sound and highly responsive to market demand.
The new UCU Kampala Campus will be built in three phases to ultimately accommodate 3,000 students. The first phase is expected to start by this year. It includes the overall development and the main academic building. It is expected to be completed in early 2018.The new campus will occupy on 2.5 acres of land UCU bought from Eagles Nest Primary School at Shillings 3 billion.
Meanwhile the former Principle Judge James Ogoola, who was the guest preacher of the day basing his sermon on Genesis chapter 26 called upon those in attendance to build altars for God just like Jacob and UCU are doing by constructing Kampala campus. UCU is a private church-founded university established in 1997.