Enugu private school owners bemoan multiple taxation
Enugu State chapter of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), has cried out over what it terms multiplicity of taxes and levies being imposed on its members by various agencies of government.
The levies and charges it said, includes renewal fees paid to the state Ministry of Education, levy for business premises paid to the Ministry of Commerce, environmental levy charged by the state environmental sanitation agency ESWAMA, signage fees collected by local government council areas, health levies and the newly introduced Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) by the Capital Territory Development Authority among others.
Speaking when a delegation of private school heads led by the Zonal President, Mr. Jen Udochukwu visited the Education Commissioner, Prof Uchenna Ezeh, they regretted that arbitrary levies were seriously impeding the development, as well as the quality of delivery in schools. Former South East Zonal President of NAPPS, Mrs.
Tessy Igweani, appealed for government intervention to stave-off the incessant harassment of private school owners by officials of the various agencies in their bid to enforce collection of these levies.
Igweani, who explained that many school heads have been dragged to courts following their inability to pay such levies, appealed to the commissioner to help educate other ministries on officially approved levies for running private school in the state.
Also speaking, zonal president of NAPPS, Mr. Udochukwu, who presented the newly elected executive members of NAPPS in the state led by Mrs. Nnonye Enemuo, also pleaded for the cooperation of the state government to enable private schools in the state survive.
He said members were basically assisting government in the discharge of her responsibilities by taking education to every child in the state, stressing that majority of those in the sector had made personal sacrifices to ensure the survival of the schools out of their love for children.
“We believe that the goal of every government is to promote quality, accessible and affordable education at all levels. For us in private schools, this is our guiding principle, which we have sworn to uphold at all times.
We will be derailing from this goal when certain unfavourable policies are placed on our way”, he said. Prof Ezeh, who agreed that private education providers were partners in the drive by the state government to provide quality education to her citizenry, identified examination malpractice and unqualified teachers as some of the factors militating against quality education in the state.
He charged the proprietors to assist government in tackling the issues among others, assuring that his ministry would find ways to address some of the challenges they had identified, especially the multiplicity of taxes and other charges.
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