The President of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), FCT Chapter, Hajiya Samira Jibir, says the association will henceforth resist multiple taxation on private school owners.
Jibir, who made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said that multiple taxation is unacceptable and would be resisted.
She added that multiple taxes by different authorities in the territory were seriously affecting members of the association.
“We are particularly concerned about unresolved issues, especially relating to the Federal Capital Territory Authorities and Area Council revenues, which continually interfere in our business activities.
“We have sued for harmonisation of all taxation and fees through FCT-FIRS, National Assembly, Joint Tax Board, Area Councils and other relevant organisations without solution, rather we always have rude officers going round our schools.
“In most scenarios, school owners are threatened with school closure and in few cases some schools are closed down by every sector that comes to our schools for levies.
“This is very unfair and unacceptable as we are Nigerians contributing immensely to the education gap and reducing unemployment, which is the bane of conflict, poverty, youth unrest, underdevelopment and growth,’’ she affirmed.
The president regretted that for over 15 years, both the FCTA and operators of private schools were yet to agree on the issue of school land allocations.
She said that most school owners had eventually secured expensive loans from the commercial banks to acquire school plots, which according to her, had translated to high running costs for private schools.
She also observed that admission process in schools were not in compliance with the established UBE standard.
She noted that almost all the schools run a personalised seven or eight years’ basic education, instead of the nine years’ basic education structure.
“Most students do not complete the Middle Basic Education class (three years from primary four to six), but skip primary five class to Junior secondary one (J.S 1).
“Primary six classes have disappeared from our schools and Nigeria is probably the only nation in the world not complying with the Universal Basic Education (UBE).
“I was amazed to learn that 556 private schools were shut down by the Department of Quality Assurance in 2016.
With such huge number of defaulters, it leaves one wondering what the overall situation of private school management in the FCT was like,’’ Jibir stressed.
According to her, more disheartening is that most schools in the area councils are yet to perfect Title Deeds of legal mortgages due to unclear bureaucracy from AGIS.
In another development, the secretary, Education Secretariat of the FCTA, Sen. Isa Maina told NAN that the administration was reviewing guidelines regulating the establishment and management of private schools in the territory.
The secretary noted that the present guidelines were too weak and had given way for the proliferation of substandard schools across the territory.
He described as disheartening, some reports concerning the conducts of some private schools in the nation’s capital, adding that quality assurance should be of paramount interest to private school operators.
Maina, however, pointed out that NAPPS, an umbrella body of private school owners, remained valuable strategic partners in the development of education sector of the FCT.(NAN)