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Owners Kick Against FCT’s 5% Tax On Private Schools

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Imposition of 5 per cent annual tax on private schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be injurious to business and drive the school owners out of business.

The submission was made on Saturday in Abuja by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), reiterating its immediate reaction when the measure was announced in January.

The Department of Quality Assurance of FCT’s Education Secretariat announced the measure in January after which the association pleaded with FCT minister, Mr Nyesom Wike to intervene and reverse the measure.

In the tax regime, each school would be charged according to the level of tuition fees paid by pupils and students as well as the number of children on its register.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), FCT Chairperson of NAPPS, Mrs Rukayat Agboola, said the Education Secretariat had refused to respond to its rejection of the measure.

“We made our dissatisfaction over the policy known even as we were not told about the tax in writing.

“The secretariat thereafter sent a circular that its next line of action was to revert to the old dues. Some of us even owed debts on the old dues and we were advised to start clearing them.

“The secretariat did not say anything again on the 5 per cent tax; it has kept quiet on it and we also have kept quiet,’’ she said.

Agboola expressed dissatisfaction at the turn of events and argued that rather than the new tax imposition, the school owners ought to enjoy government’s grants to assist in the training of indigent students who desired education.

“Schools in rural areas where there is no government presence should enjoy the grant the more. But for those schools, children in the suburbs would not be exposed to Western education.

“The tax will also create additional burden on parents and on school owners.

“The secretariat could not even be bothered about parents’ ability to pay tuition fees. It is interested only in using school enrolment to determine payable taxes.

“If the secretariat becomes insistent on the tax, we shall continue to resist it, otherwise, many private schools will run out of business,’’ she said.

Agboola called on the FCT Administration to rescind the decision and assist private schools through the provision of adequate infrastructure and learning materials.

“Most of the schools outside of Abuja metropolis maintain roads; provide water, just as some even still give scholarships to indigent children,’’ she said.

“There are funds provided in the education budget for Nigerian children and the children in private schools are also Nigerian children, so shouldn’t these children benefit from that fund’’? Agboola queried.

“Assistance does not necessarily have to be in cash. The Administration could donate textbooks, teaching materials, game materials or assist to improve on facilities in some of the schools.

“There are schools that charge as low as N5,000 or N10,000 per term; they need assistance and not tax imposition that would further compound their problems,’’ Agboola stressed. (NAN) 

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=94744

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