Residents of Ondo State within the range of taxable adults were on Tuesday urged to pay an annual education levy as part of efforts to effectively fund the education sector in the state.
According to the state government, the fund will go a long way in supporting the administration through the State Education Endowment Fund.
Chairman of the Board of the Ondo State Education Endowment Fund, Oseef, Akinsola Akinfenwa, disclosed that with one million adults targeted, the sum of N1 billion would be realized through the fund.
Akinfenwa, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Pastor Olufemi Agagu, at the unveiling of the Education Endowment Fund, stated that the levy was implemented following a change to the OSEEF statue in 2022.
The purpose of the charge, according to Agagu, was to create a fund that was separate from regular government subventions and could be used to upgrade the school system in the state.
Agagu stressed that taxable individuals in the state would be encouraged to make contributions to the fund based on their financial capabilities.
He added that the two percent deduction made on contracts awarded in the state already generates N500m for the fund each year.
According to the Education Commissioner, the state currently funds 1,285 public primary schools, 308 public secondary schools, five public technical colleges, two public innovation centers, four special schools, three public universities, one public polytechnic, and one public college of health technology.
“Considering the number of schools the government needs to finance, aside from other sectors, funding education must be a collective responsibility.
“Proposed areas of intervention include provision of relevant instructional materials and books for schools in the state, improvement of infrastructural facilities in schools, improvement of the quality of education through capacity building, improvement of science, technical, and vocational education, and provision of library facilities in schools, among others.”