Governor Wike Berates State Education Ministry Over Unapproved Levies

Governor Wike Berates State Education Ministry Over Unapproved Levies
To sanction errant officials, principals
Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has berated officials of the State Ministry of Education for failing to utilise the Ministry’s monthly  overhead judiciously, thereby passing unnecessary  financial  burden  to  less privileged parents  in the state.
The governor, therefore, directed the State Commissioner of Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, Permanent  Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Patricia  Ogbonnaya and the State Director of Secondary Education, Mrs Mae Solomon  to offer written explanation  on the funds collected illegally  from parents.
Speaking during a meeting with Principals of Public Secondary Schools in the state, Governor Wike  also directed principals of public secondary  schools  to provide written explanations  on how they  expended unapproved levies collected from parents. The principals  are expected  to submit  their written  reports on Friday to the office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor.
Governor Wike  stated that after the written  explanations, Ministry officials and principals found culpable  will be disciplined.
He said: “I hereby direct the Commissioner of Education, the Permanent Secretary and the Director of Education to within the next four hours provide written explanations  on the issue of the collection of unapproved  levies.
“Tabulate the monies collected. How much was collected? How much got to the Education Ministry? How much was left with the principals?1 If this is not done, all of you  will be suspended.
“Also, explain how much levies are being charged  the students and to which account are the monies paid to. Who is the approving authority  of  such an account?”.
The governor  said that he will commence a cleansing  process in the Ministry of Education  and the public schools to reposition them for greater performance.
He said: “I will not spare anyone involved in defrauding our parents “.
Governor Wike said that since assuming office, he has been releasing monthly  overhead  to all Ministries, which was suspended  by the immediate  administration  in the state.
In his remarks, Education Commissioner, Professor Kaniye Ebeku noted that majority  of the 534 public secondary school  principals in the  state  were in attendance.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Patricia Ogbonnaya  and the Director of Secondary Education, Mrs Mae Solomon explained  that they arrived at the levies  following meetings  held by the top civil servants, Nigerian Union of Teachers and All Nigeria Confederation  of Principals of Secondary Schools  (ANCOPSS)  of the Ministry during the immediate past administration.
They said that  no formal  memorandum  has been written to Governor Wike to seek his approval  for the levies charged.
President of ANCOPSS  in Rivers State, Mr Austin Iroegbu commended Governor Wike  for  his investments  in education.