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FCT private schools seek tax holiday to tackle out-of-school children menace

The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, has called on the federal government and the Federal Capital Territory…

The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, has called on the federal government and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to provide a task moratorium of at least five years to its members to enable them curb the prevalence of out of school children in the territory.

Chief Rukayat Agboola, chairperson of NAPPS in the FCT, made the appeal at the launch of the Compendium of Abuja Schools at the weekend.

She noted that up till now many schools in the territory were yet to come out of the huge loses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and a tax moratorium will enable them to recover and reposition their schools to serve the public better.

According to her, “We are asking for government support or palliatives for our sector. For instance, at least 5
years of tax holiday for the private schools in the FCT in order to aid the recovery by many of the Private Schools’ owners from the huge losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic would be very considerate of Mr President and the Minister of the FCT.

“We enjoin the Hon. Minister to extend grants in aides to the private schools being partners in the education of the FCT children. This will aid our commitment towards making sure that FCT private schools are the safest haven and sacred temples for teaching and learning in Nigeria.”

The proprietors also lamented the imposition of multiple taxes, saying, “we made it known to the Minister that any increase in the operating charges or levies on the private schools at this moment would only lead to increase of school fees burden on parents, and by extension cause drastic increase in the number of the out of school children
in the FCT, because many parents won’t be able to cope, especially those owing backlogs of school fees.”

On his part, the Minister of Education Professor Tahir Mamman has promised to provide the enabling environment for Private Schools to operate, saying that they are partners in providing quality education for the citizens.

Represented by Dr Folake Olatunde, Director, Basic Education in the ministry, the Minister disclosed that he is committed to ensuring that there is minimum standards and tenets to ensure the enabling environment for schools to operate.

“In that regard the private school owners are veritable partners in the delivery of basic education and higher education in the society.”

“So, the federal government is also interested that they have a very good environment to operate in with regards to regulation, with regards to fees, taxation and the rest.

“I am sure there is always room for deliberation between the schools and the government because the government is not in place to make things difficult for private proprietors. They are very good stakeholders. We appreciate what they are doing in providing inclusive quality education for Nigerian children. We do not want to make the environment hostile.”

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