By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osogbo—Some public secondary schools’ students in Osun State, yesterday, protested against the demands for three years tax clearance from their parents by the Osun State Government.
By the new tax regime of the state government, an adult artisan is expected to pay a sum of N1, 500 per year as tax, while the arrears of three years of tax beginning from 2013 amount to N4,500.
Also, evidence of tax payment were demanded from students resuming in new schools in the state.
Specifically, about 250 students within Osogbo metropolis, protested against the demand for evidence of three years tax payment from their parents.
The protesting students, who walked across major streets in the state capital, later moved to Abeere, the State Secretariat and caused traffic gridlock on the busy Gbongan/Osogbo Express Way.
Some of the students, who spoke to newsmen, told the state government to shelve demand for evidence of three years tax payment by their parent before they are allowed to sit for their papers, stressing that many of them tried without success to get the tax clearance.
They added that the government should look for other means to ensure payment of taxes rather than tying it to education.
Addressing the students, the Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Education, Mr. Lawrence Oyeniran, explained that the tax scheme was meant to ensure that parents with wards in public schools, pay their taxes and assured them that the matter will be resolved amicably.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, Osun State, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, to embargo Governor Aregbesola from accessing the N35 bn bailout.
The union demanded that the CBN immediately take over the direct payment of the money to each pensioner.
It also called on the Federal Government and National Assembly to take over the affairs of the state by declaring state of emergency in Osun State.
Addressing newsmen, the state chairman of the union, Comrade Tunde Ogunniyi, said: “ Information at our disposal revealed that the bailout loan is specifically meant for the payment of pensioners and workers and not for projects.
“The pensioners have complied with the conditions laid down by the government for them to access their entitlements which is the screening of all pensioners in the state but the state government has refused to pay us.”
Osun has no plan to divert bailout funds – NLC
Meantime, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Aliyu Wabba, has faulted the claim by the Osun state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has diverted the bailout loan to finance contracts.
Comrade Wabba made this disclosure while speaking with journalists shortly after the union and other labour leaders met behind closed doors with the governor in his office in Osogbo. He said that the Osun bailout loan was intact.
The NLC boss stated that the NLC and other leaders who had come on a fact-finding mission have confirmed that Governor Aregbesola has no intention to divert the bailout funds on any project in the state as speculated in by the opposition.