By Emmanuel Edukugho
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has urged owners of private schools to pay their taxes promptly for development of the state and also provide decent structure3s in their institutions for conducive learning environment.
In a keynote address yesterday at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, at the Society for International Development/Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) 2009 seminar, titled â€“ Public-Private Partnership (PPP) In Enhancing Educational Adequacy and Mitigating International Migration Policy for Nigerians Overseas, he charged proprietors and proprietresses of private schools to roll up their sleeves for the challenge of providing qualitative education for children in Lagos State.
â€œBe prepared to develop this state through PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax system by paying taxes deducted from salaries of teachers to the government. Some of you are making profits. If you think youâ€™re paying too much tax, open your books to inspectors. Even market women pay taxes. By so doing, we will get dividends of democracy.
Represented by Mr. Segun Adedokun, Director, Ministry of Information and Strategy, he said providing good structures in schools is pertinent and very important.
â€œYou are not to build skyscrapers but standard functional buildings that wonâ€™t collapse due to bad structure.
He commended AFED for assisting in the development of the education sector, and that government cannot do it alone, with support of private initiative. He called for unity among all the operators of private schools, the need for quality and improvement of facilities.
National President of AFED, Pastor Ejenavi, reassured the government that the association wonâ€™t rest on its oars to ensure education delivery is enhanced.
He appealed to the government for more time to enable members of the association mobilize resources to upgrade their facilities, rather than trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Ejenavri acknowledged that government is not chasing them out of business, but only a challenge to improve facilities in private schools.
A representative of the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBECV), Dr. Ibrahim Sulaiman delivered a paper on the Model of Development that will enhance Education standards (world-class quality) as a means to replenish human resources for future generations and encourage grassroot participation. The paper hinges significantly on the fact that grassroots participation is crucial to efforts geared towards education as foremost strategy for human capital development.
President SID â€“ Lagos Chapter, A.L. Obuh, in his own presentation tasked companies on their corporate social responsibility and the need to invest more funds on grassroots community development. He said that corporate social responsibility of companies should be properly monitored to make it properly carried out. This will reduce pressure on government so as to be able to build the nation.