Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria (OPSAN) has called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State to review outrageous multiple taxes and levies demanded by various government agencies from private school proprietors.
It called for harmonization of all school levies into one main tax payment for schools.
National President, OPSAN, Prof. Uzochukwu Nwanonyuo (SUSU) made the appeal at Onitsha during the Transition and Commissioning of the New Anambra State Executive led by Chief Sir Earnest Iwuamadi.
He regretted that government viewed them as business ventures, hence the reason for the exorbitant taxes and levies while exonerating the public schools.
He said, “We call on the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to urgently intervene and bail the private schools from the challenges of multiple taxation, illegal levies and other unwarranted payments.
“We are hoping that overtime the issue that boils down to multiple taxation will be addressed, that has been our major challenge.
“Another challenge is the encroachment and harassment currently witnessed by the supposed group ‘Anambra State Joint Enforcement Unit.
“Government needs to make the regulatory unit understand that schools are not similar to commercial environment. It requires decorum otherwise their activities have been affecting quality education in the state.
“We Proprietors are not running profit oriented businesses rather we are doing social services for God and humanity, helping government address the decadence in educational system.”
Also speaking, new Anambra State OPSAN President, Chief Sir Earnest Iwuamadi, while commending his predecessor for effective leadership and successful transition, decried marginalization of private schools in several areas.
He wondered why government would exempt public schools and Government-Mission schools from multiple levies/taxes, including favoring public schools while offering assistance or making appointments forgetting that every government approved school is co-owned by government.
“For instance government does not post successful Common Entrance students to private secondary schools. Government demands Business premises, Signage for billboard, signboard, school van, chasing and harassing the pupils while on transit”.
“We are calling on our amiable Governor Soludo solution to remove multiple taxes but rather harmonize all the school levies into one main tax payment for schools,” he said.
Iwuamadi promised to ensure that all OPSAN member schools yet to secure Government approval were assisted to be approved within the shortest possible time.
An OPSAN BOT member and former Ogidi zone Chairman, Dr Lady Mary Obiokoye of Model Innovative School of Today, Nkpor canvassed for more political appointments to proprietors from private schools.
“I want government to include at least two or three OPSAN members in this administration. Incorporate us into school boards, commissioners or Directors, we have resource personalities to help in governance,” she said.