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Published On: Wed, Feb 17th, 2021

Delta Private School Owners Protest Imposition Of Multiple Taxes

LAGOS FEBRUARY 17TH (URHOBOTODAY)-National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPS), Delta State Chapter, on Wednesday protested against the imposition of multiple taxes by education stakeholders in the state.
The protesters, who laid siege at the entrance of the Delta State Government House, held placards with inscription such as: ‘Why insensitive to the plight of private schools’, ‘We say no to extortion, private schools are complementing not competing with government’, ‘No to the annual renewal of license’, ‘Private schools owners should be encouraged not discouraged’, during their peaceful protest in Asaba.
Speaking during the protest, Vice Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPS), Comrade Onodaro Austin, urged the government to provide a level playing field for private schools to operate in the state.
He lamented that private schools in the state are been overburdened with several tax from government.
Onodaro said, “We are here to protest against the extortion and intimidation of Government and agencies against private schools.
“We have been made to through a lot of problems like an annual renewal of the license.
“Unlike government schools, we run a 9-3-4 system of education. Under this system, there is meant to be internal migration from Primary 6 to JSS 1 but the government has taken it as a responsibility to organize exam as a tool for extortion from private schools”.
While stressing the neglect of private schools by the state government, he recalled that there was no form of succour or package for the private schools who felt the blow if the Covid-19 pandemic.
“During the lockdown, we lost most of our teachers because we could not meet up with the obligation of paying salaries. Afterwards, nothing was done to help us get back on our feet.
“We are so exposed by the Commissioner in charge because he is not giving us the protection that we need,” he purported.
In a reaction to the protest, Commissioner of Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, condemned the actions of the private school owners.
He mentioned that the state government considered a waiver of the payment of the annual licence renewal fee payable by private schools as part of efforts to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

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