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Osun To Stop Free Feeding Of School Children - Politics - Nairaland

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Osun To Stop Free Feeding Of School Children by sCun: 12:38pm On Apr 24, 2015

The Osun State Government is considering a review of its policy of free feeding of primary school pupils in the state. Investigation by our correspondent revealed on Thursday that Governor Rauf Aregbesola had set up a committee to work out how to implement the review of this policy. The nine-member committee, which is also working
on the review of the state’s free health programme for children and the elderly, may recommend that parents be made to pay a little levy for each child in school. The committee comprises permanent secretaries in the state and a level 17 officer, who is a director. A source in the government circles told our correspondent that labour leaders in the state recommended the review of the free feeding policy alongside others to save money for payment of salaries of civil servants and to carry out developmental projects. The Aregbesola government has for almost six months been unable to pay workers salaries, a development it blames on dwindling allocation from the Federal Government. Deputy Governor Titi Laoye-Tomori had said last year that the “ school feeding meals cost government of the State of Osun N3.6bn annually.” In December 2014, the All Progressives Congress in the state said the allocation accruing to the state had fallen from N3.8bn per month to N1.3bn. Following agitations by civil servants over the non- payment of their salaries, Aregbesola challenged labour leaders in the state to suggest how his administration could generate more funds to meet its obligations. The labour leaders consequently came up with a report containing recommendations for the review of the policies. The report dated December 15 ,2014 and cited by The PUNCH was signed by the the Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Councils, Bayo Adejumo; the Chairman of Trade Union Congress in the state, Francis Adetunji; and the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Saka Adesiyan. The secretary of the JNC, R. A . Adeyemi; TUC Secretary, Kayode Adepoju and the secretary of the NLC, G. A. Bolarinwa, also signed the report. It was learnt that the labour leaders came up with the recommendations after interactive sessions with workers. In the report, they recommended the introduction of Parent/Teacher Association levy to be paid by every primary and secondary school pupil. The report read in part, “We have to appreciate the government for its programmes on free health, education and free meal, etc while the economy was buoyant to some extent. “Now that the situation has reached unmanageable equilibrium, we wish to advise that the policy of government on free programmes be reviewed to increase the IGR(Internally Generated Revenue) of the state. “There should be introduction of token amount to be paid by each pupil/ student to assist the government since the government had hitherto provided everything on education free of charge when the economy was stable. “The PTA should be re-introduced to contribute token amount to schools. It was revealed that at the Federal Government College, Ipetu, parents do pay a sum of N5,000 per student to assist the school.” The labour leaders also recommended that the governor should prioritise capital projects and complete them in phases. They also recommended the review of some laws which stipulate fines of as low as N20 or N50 as punishment for non-payment of some taxes. The union leaders advised the government to stop illegal mining of solid mineral resources such as gold and tantalite in the state. They also want the government to begin the collection of revenue from contractors and others digging gravel, sand and granite from burrow pits. They were equally not silent on the need for the government to take a second look at the number of
political appointees and their remunerations with a view to minimising the cost of governance. The report added, “We know for sure that the area of political appointment is Mr. governor’s constituency. But because of the economic situation
we find ourselves now, the truth must be told. The appointment of chains of political appointees, e.g, special advisers, senior special assistants, personal assistants and all other political appointments should be suspended for now. “More importantly, since the governor had dissolved his cabinet on the last day of his first term,
we advise that he should tarry a bit before he appoints his political aides except those that are compulsory for him to have. “The remuneration of political office holders is considered to be on the high side, especially the ones that were not known within the purview of the Salaries and Wages Commission which the state House of Assembly legislated upon. “Also, the remuneration of political office holders should be reviewed downward. When Mr. governor wants to appoint his political functionaries later, it should be manageable.” The labour leaders recommended that the governor should stop the use of consultants for IGR collection. They believe that the use of consultants amounts to waste of resources. They therefore advised that civil servants should be used to execute such tasks. The unionists added, “ If there is a dire need at all for the use of consultants for specific purposes, the revenue that would be accruable to the state should be fixed and percentages should not be given as it is the case now where 40 per cent goes to the government and 60 per cent to the consultants.” Noting that the government was not doing enough to stop illegal felling of trees in the state, they suggested that foresters should be adequately equipped to fight criminal cutting of trees . Another aspect of their recommendations is revenue generation from tertiary institutions. While they agreed that state owned tertiary institutions should be made self-sustaining, they said that tuition should not be hiked. They said that the institutions should be made to generate enough fund to take care of their basic needs in order to free the subventions given to them by the government. The union leaders advised also that the government should regulate the part-time and pre- degree programmes of the institutions to prevent managements from abusing them. When contacted, the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the governor’s office, Semiu Okanlawon, said that he had not seen the report. He however confirmed that the state government asked labour to advise it on how to generate income from other sources apart from federal allocation.
Re: Osun To Stop Free Feeding Of School Children by sCun: 12:38pm On Apr 24, 2015
After all the noise?
Re: Osun To Stop Free Feeding Of School Children by Noloss(f): 12:41pm On Apr 24, 2015
After all the noise?
Is it not better if that will help him safe small money for workers salary. Rauf has exhausted all his life lines
Re: Osun To Stop Free Feeding Of School Children by buskie13(m): 12:43pm On Apr 24, 2015
After all the noise?
stingy op...only u create topic...only steal FTC..na was for u ooo
Re: Osun To Stop Free Feeding Of School Children by Ozigbondu(m): 12:44pm On Apr 24, 2015

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