Students in public universities appear to be caught between a rock and a hard place concerning the decision by government to assign Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) the role to collect tuition for all public universities.
Jamil Ssenyonjo, the URA Assistant Commissioner for Public and Corporate Affairs told The Nile Post that the tax body’s role will be to ensure transparency in the system.
“We shall ensure that fees is collected and remitted to the consolidated fund within 24hrs. The other administrative challenges ranging from how this money leaves the consolidated fund and its distribution amongst the various universities is outside the mandate of the Uganda Revenue Authority,” Ssenyonjo said.
Ssenyonjo emphasised that it will be the role of the universities to apprehend fees defaulters not URA, because the tax body is not taking over the administration of these universities.
URA expects to start collecting tuition from the universities from July 1 after the president assents to it.
For implementation, Ssenyonjo said URA has drafted an online registration procedure to be followed by students.
“Students will go to our online portal, register a payment registration number and also be able to tick the university where they study from. Then they will pay the money to the respective bank,’’ Ssenyonjo said.
Julius Kateregga, the guild president of Makerere University said it was not a prerogative of the Uganda Revenue Authority to collect tuition because tuition is not a tax.
“This money is meant to provide services within the university,” Kateregga said.
He said the new measure, if not well implemented, will exacerbate the problem of students missing exams.
“Students will continue to miss exams because already money takes years to come from the ministry of Finance and now they are putting a double measure by allowing Uganda Revenue Authority to collect the tuition which is like rubbing salt into the wound,’ ’Kateregga said.