The Ondo State government has begun levying residents of the state the sum of one thousand naira as part of the strategy to fund the education.
The Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Olusegun Agagu, disclosed on Tuesday, at the unveiling of the State’s Education Endowment Fund (OSEEF) in Akure.
Mr Agagu, said the Endowment Fund, aimed at raising funds towards repositioning the standard of education in Ondo, would allow all ‘taxable adults’ to contribute one thousand naira annually.
He explained that Mr Akeredolu-led government had set up a 12-member Board of Trustees (BoT), headed by Akinsola Akinfenwa, to administer and regulate the fund for the development of education at all levels in the state.
According to him, the State Education Endowment Fund Law, Cap, 47 Volume II Laws of Ondo State, Nigeria, 1992, was amended and passed by the State House of Assembly in the year 2022, stressing that Governor Akeredolu gave his assent to the amendment.
“By this amendment, every taxable adult, person, individual from age 18 and above in the state is mandated to pay a sum of N1,000 on an annual basis (yearly) for education levy,” Mr Agagu noted.
While justifying the levy on the residents of the state, Mr Agagu said that the state government alone cannot fund education and expect a desirable result.
He added that the initiative would also allow the state government in different areas to reposition education in the state.
“The purpose of the fund was to provide a pool of financial resources independent of normal government subventions to renovate, rejuvenate, and generally upgrade the education system in Ondo state.
“Accordingly, the fundamental conception is that the fund will have perpetual existence and that all and sundry within Ondo state and beyond will be encouraged and indeed urged to contribute to it according to their abilities and at all times as they feel able to do so,” he said.
Speaking, Akinsola Akinfenwa, the Board Chairman of the OSEEF said the funding of education should always be collective responsibility considering the number of schools the state needed to finance aside from other sectors.
He promised to mobilise all indigenes of the state within and outside to make donations to the Education Endowment Fund.
Remarking, Tolu Adegbie, the Chairman of Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), said the state was targeting about one billion naira from the residents with the launching of the State Education Endowment Fund.
“We are also targeting about 1 million people paying this and that would give us about 1 billion as additional money for this fund,” Mr Adegbie said in his brief remark.
Recalled that in November 2018, Governor Akeredolu relaunched the State Education Endowment Fund to expand the funding base to supplement the government budget in the areas of education.