Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria (OPSAN), has urged Anambra State Government to review the multiple taxes and levies demanded by its agencies from private school proprietors.
Prof. Uzochukwu Nwanonyuo, National President, OPSAN, made the call on Monday, during the inauguration of the association’s new Anambra state executive led by Chief Ernest Iwuamadi.
Nwanonyuo said that private schools should not be perceived as a business venture but an institution that offered social services for God and humanity.
He urged 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 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 government address the decadence in educational system,”he said.
In his remarks, Iwuamadi, the new state president of OPSAN, decried the marginalization of private schools, saying that 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.
According to him, there should be harmonization of all the school levies and taxes into one main tax payment for private schools.
“The government favours public schools when 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, ” he said.
Iwuamadi commended the past executive and promised to prioritize the objectives of the association as well as carry members along in their operations.