Subsidy Removal: Taraba Governor Declares Free Basic Education

By Edition, Tuesday July 11, 2023.

Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State on Friday stated that education in the state from primary to secondary school level is free.

According to Mr Kefas, this is among the palliatives to help cushion the effect of the removal of subsidy on petrol.

During his inauguration on 29 May, President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of subsidy on petrol. The removal immediately led to an increase in the pump price of petrol which subsequently caused an increase in goods and services in the country.

Mr Kefas made the declaration in Wukari local government while on the assessment tour of primary and secondary schools in the southern part of the state.

Mr Kefas’ declaration came two days after he slashed the tuition fee of the Taraba State University (TSU) Jalingo and College of Nursing and Midwifery Jalingo by 50 per cent.

Though the Universal Basic Education Act 2004 provides for compulsory, free universal basic education for all children of primary school and junior secondary school ages, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that primary and junior secondary school pupils in Taraba pay between N1500 to N2000 per term.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Yusuf Sanda, said the governor discovered that pupils in the state were still paying fees during a tour of schools despite the declaration of free basic education by the federal government.

According to him, starting from the next academic session, primary and secondary education in Taraba will be free.

“Let me announce to you that by the next academic session, the state government will take responsibility for the school fees and all of you will attend school free of charge,” he said

He said the measure was part of efforts of his administration to ensure that Taraba indigenes acquired education, to enable them to realise their potential and to also “cushion the effect of the recent fuel subsidy removal.”

“We will continue to support you to have access to qualitative education for a brighter future for our state,” he added.

Mr Kefas also noted that his administration would renovate dilapidated schools to make them meet the demands of modern-day education.

He said the people of the state would enjoy the dividends of democracy as “he will invest more in infrastructural and educational development.”

Daniel Nuhu, a zonal director of education, lauded Mr Kefas for making out time to personally assess the condition of public schools in the state.

Mr Nuhu noted that the free education and renovation of primary and secondary schools would go a long way in turning around the fortunes of the less privileged in the state by granting them equal access to quality education.

Last month Mr Kefas declared a state of emergency on primary and secondary education.

He said with the declaration, his administration would turn around the sector within his first 100 days in office.

He said the state of primary and secondary education in the state is pathetic and unacceptable. He said extraordinary measures would be implemented within a defined time frame to achieve the desired result

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