Lagos explains reason for introducing levy despite ‘free education’

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The Lagos State Government has disclosed that the introduction of N8,100 tax levy as school fees for pupils and students across public schools was to generate and expand the state’s revenue base as well as improve infrastructures across the state.

It said that the new levy imposed on schoolchildren excludes pupils whose parents and guardians remits his Pay As You Earn taxes to the coffers of the state government monthly and annually.

According to the government, parents that have paid their tax need not to pay another but provide their tax certificate for authentication and verification.

The commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, made the clarification on Sunday through a statement released and made available to EduCeleb.com, following outcry that had trailed the new levy.

Alli-Balogun stressed that a parent with two or more schoolchildren does not have to pay twice rather the single payment of the parent covers for the children.

According to the statement, “The misconception of parents and guardians on the payment #8,100 tax Levy as school fees for pupils and students in the on-going resumption of a new academic calendar year 2023/2024 has generated the usual criticism of Lagos State Education Governance.

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“The realization that taxation is one of the core internally generated revenue for the Government in order to meet its commitment with public demands, is key to developmental strives, in the provisions of basic necessities to the citizens.

“Lagos State Government free education policy is still in operation from kindergarten to SS3. The tax payment is the duty of parents to pay. The LIRS staff are attached to schools for easier payment of tax by parents.

“Parents that have paid their tax need not to pay another but provide their tax certificate for authentication and verification. This can be done instantly by staff of LIRS for necessary documentation as to avoid double taxation.

“Receipt for tax payments are to be issued instantly to avoid collection of tax payments bundle from parents with the use of one surname for many pupils or students. This is unacceptable unless the pupils and students are from the same parents.

“The tax payments is an on-going exercise and not a hindrance to deny pupils and students from registration enrollment into schools”.

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