The Ogun State Government has given a hint that the free education system running in the state was being threatened, even as it harped on the need to include civic education into the curriculum of all the public schools in the state.
The state Commissioners for Education, Segun Odubela and Kemi Adeosun and Chairman, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board, Chief Akande Ajibola, gave the hint while speaking at a one-day civic education programme jointly organised for secondary students across the 20 local government areas of the state by the Ministry of Finance and the Internal Revenue Service, themed, Understanding the Tax System.
According to them, many residents of the state are in the habit of evading tax payment, which has led to the paucity of funds which had continued to negatively affect its financial capability to embark on various capital projects including free education.
Ajibola said; "Students being direct beneficiaries of the government programmes and also intermediary between government and their parents should be properly enlightened to be agents of change for government and prepare to play their part to take the state to a higher level as they will soon join the workforce."
The Commissioner for Finance stressed that with the high number of tax evaders in the state and the meager allocation from the Federation Account, the enthusiasm of the Amosun-led administration to embark on more capital projects had been dampened.
Adeosun, however, said that the state government embarked on the sensitization of secondary school students across the state as part of the efforts to ensure the regular payment of taxes by residents.
She reiterated the need for all residents to always observe their civic responsibilities by paying their taxes regularly.
The commissioner stated that this would strengthen the state government financially and assist her in bringing about rapid and meaningful developments and provide more dividends of democracy to the people.
Adeosun disclosed that the sensitization programme for secondary school students was put in place to enlighten the younger ones on the importance of tax payment by all Nigerians who had got to the age of working.
A student from Nawair-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Obantoko, Abeokuta, Miss Adekunle Dorcas, urged the state government to also embark on ample sensitization and campaign on tax payment for the masses.