By G9ija

The Initiative for Citizens’ Rights, Accountability and Development (ICRAD) has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over a levy imposed on the Senior Secondary School students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), particularly those in SS1 and SS2.

The ICRAD alleged that the affected students were compelled to pay N1,500 per session, outside the official fees recognised by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for secondary school students, into a private account under Shokami Consulting Limited, Zenith Bank Account number 1014972989.

The Executive Director of the ICRAD, Mr. Hassan Luqman, who signed the group’s petition, said that their attentions were drawn to the obnoxious fees when it discovered that the payment was boycotting the Treasury Single Account (TSA) platform of government.

Luqman said that the ICRAD became suspicious of the motive behind the alleged ordering students of public schools to pay fees meant for part of their academic activities into a private company’s account.

He explained that the group urged the anti-graft agency to launch investigations into the fraud in order to avert a situation where parents, guardians or students would fall victims the racketeering.

“It has come to our notice that the Senior Secondary School (SSS) students in the FCT, particularly those in SS1 and SS2 were being forced to pay the sum of N1,500 per session outside the official fees recognised by the FCTA.

“This fee surreptitiously tied to school management systems only allows the students to check their results online.

“Surprisingly is the fact that these fees were not paid into any of the recognised school account linked to government to the TSA, but into a private company’s account.

“Assuming, without conceding, that the said fee is for consulting services rendered to the FCT’s secondary school board, it is the responsibility of the board to pay for consultancy under the Public Procurement Act and not the students.

“Imposing fees for consultancy services on parents, guardians and students is contrary to the fundamental principles of procurement which requires availability of budgetary allocations and funds for all procurements, including consultancy services as enshrined under section 16 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007,”the petition further alleged.