By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – AbiaÂ state government has formally abolished all levies and other sundry fees in its primary and secondary schools, but approved the payment of development fees.
The government also announced thatÂ it is now compulsory for contractors doing business with it to present a three year tax payment certificate. Also, henceforth, all payments by government would be through electronic (E-payment) system, even as it announced measures to shore up its Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
The administration of former Governor OrjiÂ Kalu introduced a free-tuition education, relieving parents of the burden of school fees. But the system was corrupted by unscrupulous operators, who introduced all manner of illegal levies and fees which left parents and guardians groaning under heavy fees.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. John Nwokocha, who addressed journalists, shortly after the stateâ€™s Executive Council (exco) meeting, announced the abolition of all the fees and the introduction of what the government called Development Fees.
According to Nwokocha, the fee regime for primary schools in urban areas is N1,500 per annum per pupil, while their counterparts in non-urban primary schools would pay N600 per annum per pupil.
Also, each student in urban secondary school would pay N3,000 per annum, while those in non-urban secondary schools would pay N1,500 per student. The money, the Commissioner explained, could be paid in three installments of three terms.