The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools has said that it paid over N200m annually to the Abia Government which may not be getting to government treasury.
The Abia Chapter Chairman, Mr. Okey Ufomba, who made the disclosure on Friday, said, “The private schools sector has always been very supportive.
“By way of revenue, we generate over N200 million for Abia annually but our worry is: does this money get to government coffers?
“Does it get to them? This is my worry. Our worry is that most of this revenue we pay does not get to Abia state government.
“Now we are working with the Abia State House of Assembly to check this. They are trying but they need information to work,” he said.”
Ufomba said that by furnishing the state House of Assembly with more information on their transactions with revenue agents, the government could improve the state’s revenue.
He said, “We want to see how they can guide the Board of Internal Revenue and other revenue agents to reduce the amount of money we pay to what we can afford.
“We also want them to define a proper channel for us to be paying the money to the government so that the government can get money to work with.
“We are very prepared to work with the governor and the government.”
He noted that the members of the association paid for over 40 revenue items to government agents which resulted in each member paying more than N450, 000 annually.
Ufomba listed some of the items as Infrastructure levy (N50,000 – N200,000), Fire Extinguisher (N25,000-45,000), Advert fee (N5,000 – N50,000), Borehole (N7,500 – N25,000) and Consumer Protection Council fee (N10,000 – N20,000).
Others are ASEPA Bucket (N2,500 – N10,000), Environmental levy (N10, 000 – N24,000), Operational Permit (N5,000 -N10,000), Business Premises (N5,000 -N10,000) and Ministry of Education annual renewal fee (N20,000 – N80, 000).
He said that the rates differed from one school to another depending on the presence or absence of Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools in the complex.
The chairman stressed the need for the government to stop taxing the proprietors of private schools indiscriminately if it wanted them to remain in business and support the education sector.
He said, “The government should have pity on us because if they continue like this, we will not remain in business for long and the people in the state will suffer for it.”NAN