Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 12 December 2015 | 4,293 times
In a move to compel taxable adults to perform their civic responsibilities, the Abia State Government has issued a directive that no student or pupil should be admitted into any secondary or primary school in the state with effect from January 2016 without proof of tax payment by his or her parents or guardians.
The policy, which has been approved by the Executive Council (EXCO) of the state, is part of efforts by the government to improve the Internally-Generated Revenue profile of the state.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Bonnie Iwuoha, while briefing newsmen in Umuahia on the outcome of the third EXCO meeting held last Wednesday, warned that schools which flout the directive would be punished.
“From January 2016, all heads of primary and secondary schools, both government-owned and privately-owned, in Abia State will only admit pupils and students into their schools on the presentation of evidence on the payment of tax by the parents of such pupils and students,” Iwuoha announced.
According to the Commissioner, the Ministry of Education has been mandated to set up a task force “that will go round to ensure compliance,” adding: “Any school that admits pupils or students without proof of tax payment by the parents of such pupils and students would be sanctioned.”
He said the aim of the policy is to ensure that Abians reciprocate the developmental efforts of government by paying their taxes.
Still on revenue, Iwuoha announced that ministries and agencies have been prohibited from appointing revenue agents. “All ministries and agencies of government have been directed to, henceforth, stop appointing revenue agents. Any ministries that disobey the directive will be sanctioned and officers who committed the offence will be prosecuted,” he said.
He disclosed that a central body charged with revenue management in the state chaired by the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, has been put in place.
In the education sector, the commissioner said that EXCO resolved that skills acquisition centres should be established in all schools in the state, whether public or private, to promote vocational education. “Every school in the state should henceforth include skills acquisition training in its curriculum. This includes home economics centres. This is to assist the younger ones in primary and secondary schools to develop their talents at that level,” he stressed.
Comrade Iwuoha also revealed that the EXCO approved the setting up of a task force on the vandalism of public utilities, including electricity and water installations in the state, warning that those caught in the act would be prosecuted.
He further disclosed that EXCO equally approved the resuscitation of all schools of nursing in the state to enhance the training of quality personnel to man health facilities scattered across the state and also directed the appointment of a visitation panel to the School of Nursing, Aba to investigate alleged negative activities in the school and report back to the government for further action.
According to the commissioner, EXCO directed the Ministry of Agriculture to set up two poultry villages at Item in Bende Local Government Area and Ogwe in Ukwa West Local Government Area to assist young entrepreneurs interested in poultry business and restated the state government’s resolve to engage in massive oil palm planting.
He said that henceforth only reputable companies would be awarded Grade A roads in the state, adding that EXCO has directed the immediate commencement of grading of at least two rural roads in all the wards of the state before the end of the month.
EXCO, he said, also approved the hosting of Enyimba Mini-carnival in Aba on December 20 and 21, this year, together with Aba Half Marathon.
In her remarks, the chairperson of the Enyimba Carnival Committee, Barr. Ngozi Nwangwa, said the two-day cultural carnival is designed to showcase Aba, as well as market the Abia culture.
•Photo shows Comrade Iwuoha.
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