Ogun goes tough on tax defaulters in tertiary institutions

STUDENTS of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omun-Ijebu, Ogun State, whose parents’ tax clearance certificates at the point of entry have been found to be “fake” have been given two weeks to pay N20,000 punitive charges.

The order affects both regular and fresh students of the institution.

When Tribune Online visited the college on Thursday, students were seen besieging notice boards where names of ‘defaulters’ had been displayed.

The Public Relations Officer of the college, Mrs Olajide Olufisayo, however, said the development is not peculiar to TASCE, but affects all Ogun State-owned institutions of higher learning.

The state government was said to have recently discovered that some students in its institutions of higher learning used ‘irregular’ or ‘fake’ tax clearance certificates to process their admission.

Mrs Olufisayo explained that by the provisions of the tax law in the state, the fine (for defaulting) ought to have been N50,000, in addition to paying double the N10,000 due that should have been paid – totalling N70,000.

“But the state government said because they’re students, they should go and pay N20, 000,” she explained.

Mr Dele Alaga, the Public Relations Officer of the Ogun State College of Health Technology, Ilese, however, shed some light on what might constitute ‘irregular’ or ‘fake’ tax certificates, though he said that what students are asked to pay under such circumstance at OSCOHTECH is N10,000.

“What really happens is this: during registration, there is a space where you’re asked to provide the tax clearance of your parent, guardian or sponsor, as the case may be.

“The big clause there is that it has to be from Ogun State. Failure to produce Ogun State tax clearance, then you’ll be asked to pay N10, 000,” Alaga explained.

At OSCOHTECH, according to him, this is the process every student goes through; so the case of ‘defaulting’ does not even not arise at all, because students who fail to fulfil this condition will not be registered in the first place.

When contacted on the development, the Head of the Corporate Affairs of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Mr Niyi Oduwole, said he was not aware of such development at OOU.

All efforts to get the reaction of the authorities of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) on the development failed, as Mr Nureni Bakenne, the institution’s image maker, could not be reached immediately on telephone.