Akeredolu wants to start taxing poor pregnant women in Ondo state


Its now over a year that the administration of Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu SAN was inaugurated in Ondo state. The administration which came to power with a myriad of promises and a mandate to get right into the action has so far, failed woefully in fulfilling any of the conditions of its election manifesto. We are forced to assume Akeredolu and his cabinet never actually prepared itself for Governance.

Even a cursory look at the state’s current state will reveal how removed it has become from the governor’s campaign manifesto and how his incompetence has become a catalyst for state wide incompetence, especially in the health and education sectors.

The last administration despite its inadequacies made a lot of considerable investments in health through the Abiye Program and other health infrastructures that were put in place especially the Ondo state medical village which now serves as the teaching hospital to the state owned University of Medical Sciences.

The foundation laid by the former administration should have been improved upon by the new administration but it seems health and education is not a priority to the administration, a worrying trend that has replicated itself in the APC led government at the Federal level.

It was reported few days ago that pregnant women despite their delicate situation were forced to protest the newly introduced N25,000 fee imposed on them as ‘delivery fees’. Before this new development government at all levels had made delivery and ante-natal care either free or heavily subsidized to encourage more women to seek medical help during their pregnancies and reduce our abysmally high maternal mortality rates.

As earlier reported on this blog, the state government discontinued the free basic education scheme that once existed at the primary and secondary level in the state, introducing fees that have forced many poor students out of school. Also, the payment of WAEC and NECO fees by the state have been stopped, the free shuttle buses for the primary school pupils have also been stopped. Even the students of  the state owned university  were initially paying 25,000, they will now have to cough out over 100,000 as new fee regimes have been imposed on the students.

As usual, the state government has tried to blame its new draconian changes  in the state education and health sectors on a lack of revenue from the Federal coffers and its own tax and IGR schemes. But this same government is still spending heavily on less important items like its budget for official vehicles for political office holders and state legislature. This administration has also budgeted five hundred million naira only for the unconstitutional office of the first lady while education and health are left to rot.

Akeredolu according to his manifesto promised a new Ondo state, is this the newness he talked about?

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