Cleric disowns Ekiti education tax, threatens litigation
THE Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaiye, yesterday refuted the state government’s claim that the education development levy imposed on pupils and students of public and private schools in the state was one of the resolutions of the Education Summit organised last September.
He added that people should not misconstrue the position of the church to challenge the policy as disobedience to constituted authorities, saying, “we planned to go to court just to seek redress. Catholic
Church does not threaten and cannot be threatened. It can never be intimidated and neither would it succumb to blackmail.”
The Diocese had last week threatened to sue the state government for allegedly imposing the tax on mission schools instead of public ones only, resulting in the friction between the duo.
The new tax regime makes it compulsory for all pupils in public and private schools in Ekiti to pay N500 per session while those in secondary schools are to part with N1,000.
A statement by the Catholic cleric yesterday in Ado Ekiti, the state capital said “there was never any discussion, not to talk of decision, on Education Development Levy on Private and Mission Schools.”
He noted that the church was one of the stakeholders at the summit and was never not part of the resolution that such tax should be extended to private and mission schools.
Ajakaye clarified that two of the seven schools claimed to have complied with the payment of the fee by the state government, including Ave Maria International College, Osun Ekiti and Immaculate Nursery/Primary School, Ilupeju, were not owned by the Catholic Diocese.
“Even if the pupils and students of the mission schools have paid, not just the seven, we would have still followed the path of justice and honour. We didn’t threaten anybody or the state on the matter,” the cleric added.
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