Global Upfront Newspapers
Proposed Tax - Gov. Obiano, Private Schools’ Owners on War Path
Cover Education News Politics

Proposed Tax: Gov. Obiano, Private Schools’ Owners on War Path

The decision of the government under Governor Willie Obiano to tax the largely unregulated Private Schools in the State has pitched it into a messy battle with the School Proprietors.

This has resulted in the Coalition of Private Schools embarking on a three-day warning strike to protest the alleged multiple taxation” of the Schools by State revenue agencies and the immediate withdrawal of the license of 12 private schools.

In the enrollment of Early Childcare Development (ECD) centres by States in the Southeast Zone, Anambra has the highest number of 111,163 centres. Anambra State has the highest number of gross enrolment in Primary Schools with 731, 141 followed by Imo with 391, 066 while Ebonyi State has the least as 238, 396.  

National President, Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria, and leader of the State Coalition of Private School Proprietors, Mr Uzochukwu Nwanonyuo, said the three-day warning strike became necessary because the State government had refused to address the  issues it has been raising over time, adding that it was also to attract the attention of the Governor Obiano on the “extortionist agenda of the agents of the State government against Private School owners in the State.

“It’s unfortunate that Private Schools which render social services to children have been unfortunately classified as “business enterprises. Government now demands huge sums of money from us without the schools getting anything in return”, the protesters said.

Nwanonyuo said that on one occasion, thugs suspected to be agents of the state government invaded a private school in the area and shot the proprietor in a bid “to enforce their multiple revenue generation.” 

Anambra State Commissioner for Basic Education, Professor Kate Omenugha told journalists in Awka on Tuesday that the Schools did not have conducive teaching and learning environment as they lack the required facilities and qualified teachers.

Alleging that over 1,901 private Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Schools in the State have been operating illegally and may soon be proscribed, the Commissioner alleged that the leadership of Coalition of Private Schools does not have the best interest of their pupils and students at heart, calling their warning strike as “uncalled for and disrespectful to a government which had been treating these private schools with kid gloves.” 

Accusing them of continuing to prevent the government from accessing their records or play their own role in development of education in the State, Professor Omenugha said that they have rather been aiding and abetting tax evasion, examination malpractices and extortion of parents as well as sexual abuse of students.

“Among all the states in the country, Anambra State government has been the only government that gives support to private schools. During the past administration, some of these schools were given buses and money by the government and in this administration, we have shared computer sets to them as well as 1 million naira each to develop their sports equipment and sick bay. Most of these schools did not utilise the money they were given for the purposes.

“Yes, these private schools have been raising their voice against things they perceive as multiple taxation because they tell themselves they render social services. While the state government recognises that these schools render social service, we are also aware that they do businesses. The gains they make should be ploughed back in the development of the school. This is where I have problem with the private schools because most of them fail to develop their schools with the money they make and these schools remain the way they are year in year out. 

“They have continued to hide their data from the government even when they are the greatest employers of labour. They have refused to allow us to grade their schools from Star 1 to Star 5 in order to know how to treat them fairly. Every worker is supposed to pay PAYE but they have refused to let us know how many teachers they have in order for us to know what they should be realising from their teachers for the government.

“We have also discovered that a lot these schools run miracle centres. We had wanted to run reaccreditation of the schools for WAEC and NECO examinations but they refused to comply. Obiano government wants credible and valuable education and that is why we have decided to clamp down on schools that have been running illegally (evading tax, without statutory records, running without government approval or marked by external examination boards as miracle centres).”

Buttressing that the whole issue is about revenue, Chairman of Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Dr David Nzekwu, citing from some documents, explained that what the Private School Proprietors refer to as multiple taxation were levies, charges and tax, stating that many of the Private Schools have failed to register with none of the State agencies including the Registration of Business Premises, Ministry of Education and Board of Internal Revenue. 

Dr Nzekwu said that in order to assuage them on complaints of being disturbed by illegal revenue collectors, they were told to pay into government account using their ANSSID number. 

But according to the Revenue boss, “the leadership of the Coalition of Private Schools refused, insisting that they would want to be collecting the money on behalf of the government and remitting to the government. This is the source of the crisis they are fomenting because we insisted they must register and pay to government account to avoid illegal revenue collection. Every business in Anambra State is an agent of government for the purpose of deduction of PAYE taxes from salaries paid to their staff and they have an obligation to remit this to government within 10 days of deducting the money.

“Many of these people are not paying their taxes and do not have tax clearance certificate. When government provides services for people, government levies charges for these services like waste management. The ASWAMA law has prescribed that schools are supposed to pay for waste management. When the schools put up sign posts to advertise their school, the ANSAA law says they are supposed to pay for signage. Where the school vehicle contravenes traffic law and are impounded, they are expected to pay a fee, that cannot be called multiple taxation.”

He reaffirmed the board’s resolution to continue to ensure that every person in Anambra State complied with the tax provisions of the state according to the law.

Advertize With Us

See Also

Free, Transparent And Credible Elections Indispensable To Peace And Stability In West Africa, Says Buhari

Global Upfront

Abuja Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Ex-Accountant General of Federation’s $899,900, N304.5 Million, 15 Properties In Kano, Abuja

Global Upfront

Sore Throat remedies that actually work and 2 that you should pass on

Global Upfront

Obasanjo Accuses Tinubu’s Camp Of Falsehood, Labels Speaker Gbajabiamila’s Remark Unfriendly

Global Upfront

Garba Shehu, Atiku Abubakar Leaked Documents To Me To Frustrate Obasanjo’s Govt, Says Sowore

Global Upfront

90-gun Salute For Madiebo

Global Upfront

Canada takes 1st place in 2021 Best Countries Report

Global Upfront

Nigeria’s Police Commission Orders New Probe Into Links With Abba Kyari and U.S.-Jailed Fraudster, Hushpuppi

Global Upfront

Europe must ‘prepare for a second deadly wave of the coronavirus’, WHO director warns, instead of celebrating dwindling daily figures

Global Upfront

Buhari, APC Have Strong Links With Terrorists In Nigeria, Says Datti Baba-Ahmed, Labour Party Vice Presidential Candidate

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More