Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu, Port Harcourt
The introduction of Sanitation fees by Rivers State Government to pupils in Models schools is not going down well with some groups in Rivers State.
One of such group is All Progressives Congress APC Youth League, Rivers Coordinate.
The Group described the sanitation fee as as anti-people policy. They however threatened to resist the move by the by mobilizing Rivers youths to protest the charges.
You could recall that the Rivers State Commissioner for Education Prof.Kaniye Ebeku had on April 26th, 2016 directed the Head Teachers across the State to commence the collection of sanitation fees from pupils for the sole purpose of keeping the school environment clean.
The APC Youth League in a statement by the Coordinator of the Abiye George said the introduction of the sanitation fee is not in line with free education promises by Governor Nyesom Wike during his campaign period.
”The sanitation charge is anti-social and democratically deficit as it shows an apparent instrument of fiscal exploitation of Rivers people by milking the poor masses”.
”We warn that any attempt to collect the said sanitation charges will be met with vehement opposition as we shall mobilize Rivers people to protest against the sanitation charges. Governor Wike has shown willful and dictatorial wastage of resources, and may end up leaving a legacy of exploitation of the masses, social violence and unparallel threat to human security in Rivers State”.
”we want to use this medium to call on Rivers people to raise their voices against a wasteful government in the new era which sole purpose is impoverishing our people”.
The Coordinator of the APC Youth League, Abiye George however advised the State Governor to explore more avenues to promote private investment in the State so as to raise money to meet challenges of running the State rather than imposing more taxes on people in Rivers State.
” The APC Youth League, Rivers Coordinate has described as arbitrary, extortionary of the extreme poor the plan by the Rivers State Government under Gov. Nyesom Wike to impose sanitation charges on pupils of primary and secondary schools in the State”.
”Rivers State is now replete with various horror stories of double taxation by the Governor. Rather than explore avenues of promoting private investment and increase the IGR of the State to perform its duties, the Governor has resorted to the wicked act of impoverishing Rivers people by the imposition of the sanitation charges”.
”We wish to remind Gov. Nyesom Wike that his administration will be remembered in the annals of history as the first in Rivers State to cancel free education in primary and secondary schools. Pupils in government owned schools now pay exorbitant fees”.
”And the plan to further impose sanitation charges on the pupils reveals palpable dereliction of duty on the part of the Government, gross incompetence and double taxation on the already impoverished parents who send their children to schools owned by their government”.
”Gov. Wike should take into consideration the economic hardship faced by these parents who can no longer meet their basic needs and immediately cancel the plan on sanitation charges”. he stated