Ondo State has set up an Education Endowment Fund aimed at raising at least N1 billion annually to augment the state’s education budget. Every taxable adult is expected to voluntarily donate N1,000 annually to the fund.
Explaining the reason for the endowment fund, the Commissioner for Education, Mr Femi Agagu, yesterday, said the policy requires all taxable residents of the state to voluntarily contribute a sum of N1,000 annually to support the government in funding the education sector of the state.
He said, “Attainment of the desired place for education in our dear state cannot be shouldered by the government alone. Considering the number of schools the government needs to finance, aside from other sectors, funding education must be a collective responsibility.”
He said the policy will help to strengthen accountability in the education sector.
He said it is part of the efforts to improve the standard of education in Ondo State, adding that the Fund will raise money towards repositioning the education sector in the state.
Agagu said the state government had set up a board comprising prominent indigenes of the state to judiciously administer and regulate the fund for the development of education at all levels in the state.
According to the commissioner, the number of schools the state government is funding was enormous, hence the need for collective responsibility from all residents to assist the government. He noted that the government was targeting over N1bn annually from the endowment fund if one million people of the state pay their N1,000 levy.
He said, “The fundamental conception is that the fund will have perpetual existence and that all and sundry within Ondo State and beyond will be encouraged and indeed urged to contribute to it according to their abilities and at all times as they feel able to do so.
“Contributions could be once and for all lump sums or periodic remittances of the standing-order type. International and national organisations, as well as individuals within and outside Nigeria, are welcome and strongly encouraged to contribute to the fund.
OYO NEWS reports that he however mentioned that there was no penalty for whoever could not pay the amount.
He added that the government would begin to embark on state-wide sensitisation to inform the people about the significance of funds to the education sector of the state.