School owners have decried what they called the proliferation of taxes imposed on them by local governments in Lagos State.
The state chapter of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) said the taxes were the major problem facing the group.
Its President, Mr. Wasiu Adumadeyin, was addressing reporters on the 2018 NAPPS banquet and award night scheduled for December 6 in Lagos.
He said the association had sued local governments to challenge some of the taxes imposed on private schools.
“We are not objecting that we do not want to pay our tax, but the ones imposed on us are too numerous and we are not expected to pay some of them.
“We have written an appeal letter to the deputy governor to intervene, so that it can be reduced,” Adumadeyin said.
According to him, the government must begin to see private school education as a social service and not a commercial venture, and must stop charging the operators outrageous taxes.
He said in developed countries like Canada, government supports private schools by paying half of the students’ school fees.
“We don’t get such support in Nigeria from the government; what we get is imposition of taxes and levies,” Adumadeyin said.
He urged the government to extend grants such as free books and meals given to students in public schools to their counterparts in private schools.
The NAPPS president said since parents of students in private schools pay tax, their children also deserve such benefits.
He listed other challenges faced by the association as funding and poor participation of members in its programmes.
“We have not achieved 100 per cent participation of our members in our programmes and this is because most of them are constrained financially and cannot pay their dues.
“This development has not made us as buoyant as expected,” he said.
Adumadeyin said despite the challenges, however, the current executive had broken new grounds in the last one year.
He said they had organised workshops, seminars and retreats for proprietors, teachers, non-teaching staff and parents, mostly at no cost, to improve the quality of education.
According to him, they have also developed a harmonious relationship with the Ministry of Education, which enables the association to be regarded as a partner in decision-making in the sector.
He said NAPPS initiated a unified examination, teachers’ award and a game festival for private schools, to enhance education standard.