Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has warned critics to stop blackmailing his administration over payment of N3, 700 education levy in the public primary and secondary schools across the state.
The governor, who decried the public outcry generated by the fee, emphatically declared that the said money was introduced to the state’s education system by the administrative of his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun under the guise of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) levy and not the creation of his administration.
Abiodun, who spoke over the weekend in Abeokuta, the state capital during the state’s education stakeholders forum themed; “Repositioning Education for Outstanding Performance” however, ordered for immediate suspension of payment of the levy which he said was begueathed on the state by the previous administration.
Speaking at the event held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the governor lamented that he has received several bashings and that his administration had been labelled with several unprintable names in the media over the payment of the “new school fees” in the state which was never approved by him.
“I have been criticized in the media about the N3,700 PTA fee. I did not introduce the fee. It was proposed by the PTA and accepted by the previous administration. The fee negate the free education policy of this administration. It is like payment through the back door”.
“I hereby suspend the payment in all our schools. We will also look into the issue of Principal and Headmaster Generals”.
He explained that the suspension of the PTA levy was in fulfilment of his promise of free, universal and qualitative education in the state’s public primary and secondary schools.
Dismissing the ground upon which the said PTA levy was approved by his successor, Abiodun told the stakeholders that he had directed his team to critically examine tje financial implication of the insurance policy for pupils and students, school caps as well as the inter house sporting activities’ wears among others.
“I have told them to go and look at and how we can make it work without having to charge anybody, because we promised we are going to offer free education”.
Describing the condition of public schools across the state as pathetic, Abiodun however, ordered the restoration of running cost for all public primary and secondary school head teachers and principals to ensure that public schools have the financial strength to run their day-to-day activities.