3,000 Anambra Private Schools Shut Down Over 2, 3 Billion Multiple Taxation

March 16, 2020
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By Okey Maduforo, Awka

Private primary and secondary schools in Anambra state
yesterday embarked on a three day strike closing down there school on protest
over multiple and illegal taxation by agents alleged to have been directed by
the Anambra state government.

School children who were to commence their respective second
term examination where asked to go home until Wednesday this week pending any
other directives from the state chapter of the National Association Proprietors
of Private Schools in the area.

When reporters visited private schools in Awka, Onitsha,
Ekwulobia and Nnewi respectively parents and guardians expressed suprise over
the development while school children whose relatives could not come early to
take them home found resort in playing games at the school field.

Several calls where put accross to the Commissioner for
Basic Education Prof Katie Omenugha for her to react to the incident could not
connect as her phone was not reachable and later switched off.

According to Mrs Amaka Ezedebego who is the state chairman
of the body who spoke through a member of the association Mr Chinazo Rapheal

The government of Anambra state have been imposing all
manner of taxes and lavies on private schools in Anambra state running up to
several billions of naira .

As I speak with you sir we are asked to pay business
premesis which is not done any were and we are asked to pay#50,000 approval
forms for private schools and before you get the approval you must have
spent#200 000 and after that you now pay another#250,000 to be given approval
letter.

We are always intimidated by government tax force who
transload our school children from our bus to their bus and detain the children
in their office until we come to pay#20, 000 for the branding of our school bus
and after that we still pay#40,000 to #50,000 for school sign board.

Can you emergen that the fire Service department come to
disturb us with payment of levies which is between#20,000 and #30,000 as well
as environmental levy and the government has two agencies that come to demand
all types of levies and when you refuse the thugs will attack our teachers and
workers.

She further lamented that private schools were forced to pay
the sum of#2,800 for the purchase of black plastic seats and tables before the
conduct of WAEC examination and if you fall to pay your school will not sit for
the examination.

Some Proprietors of Private Schools who spoke with reporters
confirmed that the ripp off is too much and that it has always affected the
cost of school fees which would be paid by their parents.

” How do you explain the payment of#100.00 by every
pupil and student from private schools since last year? and #150,000 for
examination books then renewal of registration fees to tune of#300.00

per school while public schools pay #30.00 ; one of them
lamented.

Mrs Amaka Ezedebego noted that the strike is just a warning
strike adding that if the issue is not addressed they would apply all means to
resist the imposition.

“It is good to let you know that government is only
collecting money from us and not giving us any patronage like they do to public
and mission schools.

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