Tax payers’ money in  education sector: Ogun  as a case study

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In this piece, Bukola Abdulsalam, takes a look at the essence of tax payment and the transformation of the education sector by the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration through judicious use of tax

 

A mind that is learning is a free mind, and freedom demands the responsibility of learning.

Education is a process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, morals , beliefs and habit through teaching, training, discussion and directed research.

Education in this context is the formal method of learning which forms in most cases, the choice of   a life career.

 It is commonly of stages from pre-school – primary education -Secondary Education and- the College/ University Educational Institution.

The primary stage is the first stage of formal education which is the foundation laying level that is universally accepted in all nations of the world , provides the mini – structural frame work on which the quality of other levels of education is anchored.

The next of it is the secondary education stage which covers two phases on the education scale which are the junior secondary education that is considered the second and final phase of basic education, and  senior secondary education   which is the pre- tertiary education.

Secondary education typically takes place after six years of primary education and it’s followed by the higher education of vocational education. It is the higher institution level of education be it at the Universities, Polytechnics or colleges. It is taken to include undergraduate and post-graduate education.

The essence of education is the knowledge of basic skills, and technical discipline.

 Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.  Education is the panacea for solving problems such as illiteracy, ignorance, religious violence, insecurity and political servitude and it is the fuel to a better society.

It is no doubt an avenue for people to work better as it entails critical skills and tools to help them provide for themselves and their society at large.

  1. However, most of us will agree that an educated person gets better opportunities in life.  Education is one of the most important  investments a country can make.

 Education is essential for many reasons, some of which are :For a happy and stable life; Money: An educated person has more chance of getting a good high paying job for a better career option.

Equality: If you want to see the world as a just and fair place where everyone is given equal opportunities , education is then required.

Make your dreams into reality, for economic growth of the nation: Education is vital for the economic prosperity of the nation.

Keep up the world:  We live in a ever-changing world where new technologies keep coming up and if you don’t want to be left behind , you must keep up with the world which is moving really fast. So, being educated keeps you more aware of the latest technologies and the changes that come with it.

  Makes the world a safer and more peaceful place:  Education majorly affects our understanding of the difference between right and wrong. An educated person is well aware of the consequences of wrong or illegal actions and he is less likely to get influenced  and do something  which is not legally or morally right.

Hence, education is an important factor which contributes in social harmony  and peace. Respect: Everybody likes a wise and knowledgeable person!  It saves you from being exploited  and fooled. Marthin  Luther King  Jnr said,  “The function of education is to teach one to think  intensively and to think critically.

Governor Dapo Abiodun in his inaugural speech, emphasized on the importance of education and the  need  for prompt attention in resuscitating  educational sector In Ogun State.

“We shall ensure that our schools are conducive for learning  through provision of adequate infrastructure and facilities. We will embark on a massive capacity building programme for our teachers to enable them upgrade their skills and qualifications in order to prepare them adequately for their unique role of impacting knowledge.

In Ogun State of present, the right to education has not only been recognised by the Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration within his two years in service, but undergoing a yellow turned Leaf in a ripened development, hence, the voice of tax

 ‘Tax is a compulsory exaction of money by a public authority for public purposes, It is raising money for the purpose of government by means of contributions from individual persons.

 According to Latham C J. Borrowing from Magnum Opus of Chris Whitehouse and Elizabeth Stuart- Buttle, Tax has three basic features namely: a compulsory levy, imposed by government or local authority; and for public purpose or to encourage social justice.

In any venture where symbiotic approach is adopted, it is easier and quicker to attain desirable success in togetherness.

Cognisant of this, the essence for which tax collection sets to achieve is obviously to set the interest of all and sundry regardless of class, religious or political affiliation and ethnic diversity.

 This therefore implies that every individual who yearns for a virile, developed and congenial society needs to embrace the principle of voluntary tax compliance.

Tax collection in Ogun, the gateway state lies primarily to raise capital for the execution of government policies to aid economic stabilisation and effective redistribution of income, which are judiciously collected and used to make provisions for employment opportunities, Educational Development,infrastructure, security, social amenities and other developmental programmes for the benefit of all.

Seven hundred and thirty one days(731) in Office of The Governor  of Ogun State between May 29, 2019 and May 29,2021,can only be expressed as “Tax Payers Money in Action.” This is culled from the language of remarkable achievements in all sectors for development, with emphasis on the Educational Sector in the state.

In the cause of the days,  Prince Dapo Abiodun cancelled all forms of payment and levies as a demonstration of his administration’s ‘ Total Free education Policy ‘ and this drastically brought about increased enrollment of learners in school.

Employment of 1,500 Teachers into public schools across the 20 LGAs in the State.

Promotion and Induction of Principals, VPs, Teachers and allied workers.

Commencement of over 960 rehabilitation projects in the primary and secondary schools ( The Yellow Roof Revolution),  Over 120 per cent increase in the running cost allotted for primary and secondary schools, 50 per cent increase in feeding allowance for learners in Special Need Schools, Introduction of Ogun Digi Class to facilitate teaching and learning during and after Covid -19 lock down, Approval for Ogun State Education Intervention Fund( OGSEIF) as a special intervention fund for the education sector.

Others include the Introduction of Ogun TEACH intervention to employ five thousand (5,000) interns to fill the teacher’s vacancies in primary and secondary schools as well as technical colleges, Resuscitation and relocation of Ogun State Braille Book Production Centre, Approval for production of 25,000 tables and chairs for primary and secondary school.

Others are; Distribution of wheel Chairs to the Special Needs Learner.

Approval of scholarships for outstanding students in all Ogun State Tertiary institutions and payment of Bursary to Ogun State indigenes in Nigeria Tertiary institution.

Repositioning and Construction of Central Education Management Information System (EMIS) for Data gathering and presentation to mention a few.

As it were, the token collected from eligible individuals as tax is majorly an aid for government to fulfilling its social contract with the people. The absence of adequate tax payment will not only spell doom on the state, but will also have incapacitated the provisions of efficient amenities like schools, and others.

  Abdulsalam, is an Information Officer with the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS

  

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