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Lagos targets N1.7bn tax revenue from parents



Lagos targets N1.7bn tax revenue from parents

What looks like a policy reversal has taken place in the Lagos State education system as public school administrators have been permitted to bill parents and guardians for some services that used to be free in its schools before now.

Thus as from the current 2016-2017 academic session, according to an official, some compulsory levies, except school fees, are to be paid by parents as part of conditions for admitting their children or wards in all the primary through secondary school system.

An official of the Ministry of Finance said the need to get some inputs from parents, with which to offset the high cost of running the system, called for a revenue drive capable of seeing the government raking in an estimated N1.7billion through tax to be paid by them.

Some other levies and charges include: evidence of tax clearance, registration certificate with the Lagos Residence Registration Agency (LASRRA), paying for badges, caps and souvenirs.

Parents are also to provide writing desks, as well as materials for maintenance and running of the schools.

Visits to various public schools on Monday witnessed parents and guardians shuttling between schools, where their children or wards were posted, to banks to pay their taxes and other charges.

When a call was placed to the Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Idiat Adebule, who is also supervising the Ministry of Education, it was answered by a voice, which introduced himself as an aide.

He said though there had not been an official circular to that effect, “School administrators have been allowed to place minor responsibilities on the shoulders of the parents, as they are known to be working in partnership with the government in seeing their children acquiring sound learning .

“It is not cancellation of free education, rather another way of effectively involving parents in the project. Even states without free education are demanding tax clearance from parents before admitting their children in school, so it is not new.”

He also noted that there has been an upsurge in school intakes as some parents had withdrawn their children from private schools for the public ones since the beginning of the session.

By Emma Eke…..

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