The Enugu chapter of Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria has expressed worries over multiple taxation and levies by the state government and its agencies.
The state chairman of the association, Emeka Graham, said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Enugu, describing the situation as worrisome.
According to him, from time to time, officials and representatives of government agencies come to demand certain amount from school owners.
Graham, who is also the proprietor of the Professor’s Ivy League School, Enugu, said that Nigerians have erroneous belief that private school owners make millions, without looking at the expenses they incur in running the schools.
“When it comes to collection of levies, they ask other business owners to pay N2,000, while private schools are mandated to pay N2m.
“Everyone in the country believes that private school owners are in money, which is contrary to the reality on ground.
“Even touts can get up anytime to request money from us and if any member is not courageous, they will scam him or her. It is a very big challenge and worrisome to us,” he said.
Graham charged members of the association to be alert and enquire from individuals asking them for money their identity.
“Many school owners have suffered from the hands of these people, ” he said.
The chairman also emphasised the need for the state government to support private schools to enable them attain the approved standard in the state.
Grahams stated that many schools were struggling to come up, while other were hiding from the ministry officials in charge of enforcement.
“The government can give them loan to upgrade to the required standard, rather than trying to close them.
“Many of them do not pay tax because they are not recognised. If they get approval, there will be more revenue for government,” he said.