Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria (OPSAN), has charged the Anambra State Government to review the multiple taxes and levies demanded by its agencies from private school proprietors.
The disclosure was made by the National President, OPSAN, Prof. Uzochukwu Nwanonyuo on Monday, during the inauguration of the association’s new Anambra state executive led by Chief Ernest Iwuamadi
Nwanonyuo affirmed that private schools should not be perceived as business ventures but as an institution that offered social services for God and humanity.
He asked Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to urgently intervene and bail the private schools from the challenges of multiple taxation, illegal levies and other unwarranted payments.
“Our major challenge in the state is the exorbitant taxes and levies. We call on the state government to address the matter urgently.
“Another challenge is the encroachment and harassment by a group called ‘Anambra State Joint Enforcement Unit’. Their activities have been affecting quality education in the state.
“Government needs to make the regulatory unit understand that schools are not similar to a commercial environment. It requires decorum.
“Proprietors are not running profit-oriented businesses, rather, we are doing social services for God and humanity, we are helping the government address the decadence in the educational system,”he stated.
In his views, Iwuamadi, the new state president of OPSAN, decried the marginalization of private schools, adding that the government has exempted public schools and mission schools from multiple levies and taxes.
He said the government demanded levies for business premises, signage for billboard, signboard, school van and others.
Additionally, he said, there should be harmonization of all the school levies and taxes into one main tax payment for private schools.
“The government favors public schools when offering assistance or making appointments, forgetting that every government-approved school is co-owned by the government.
“For instance, the government does not post successful Common Entrance students to private secondary schools, ” he added.
Iwuamadi applauded the past executive and promised to prioritize the objectives of the association as well as carry members along in their operations.