COVID-19: Private school owners seek palliatives, tax waivers

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Owners of private schools in Niger State, North Central Nigeria have appealed to the state government, to consider its members for the palliatives it has earmarked for the people in the state.

They also asked for tax waivers from the board of internal revenue, opining that it would go a long way in reducing the hardship they suffer as a result of the lockdown.

For nearly a month now, schools across Nigeria have been shut based on governments’ directive as a measure to curtail the spread of Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

This development meant that private schools, which largely depend on school fees have remained shut and still have to pay salaries among other bills during the period.

The school owners, under auspices of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), made these appeals in a letter to the state Chairman of the Taskforce on COVID-19.

The letter was presented to the Commissioner for Education, Hannatu Salihu by its State President, Mr Femi Alalade at her office in Minna.

“We hereby appeal to the Niger State Government through the Ministry of Education to consider private school owners access to some of the palliatives in cash and kind to members. These will enhance the offset ofstaff salaries, welfare, and school operational cost.”

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The Association stated that the palliatives measures if extended to its members, would help to alleviate the adverse effect of COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it has not been easy for the members during the lockdown.

“The Niger State internal revenue service should be prevailed upon for waivers, modalities on tax reduction and or abort taxes within the period under review (COVID-19 pandemic).

“It will be appreciated if possible, to collapse all the State and Local Government taxes as one and for other tax collection agencies to be put on hold.

“The sudden act prevented some parents from paying school fees thereby resulting in untold hardship on proprietors which include Payment of debt on stationeries and other instructional materials, Settlement of outstanding bills on logistics and day to day running of the school, Payment staff salary for March and April 2020 and Educational levies and Taxes both at Local and State level.

“It is pertinent to note that some schools are servicing repayment of the loan from banks and other financial institutions and will face increment in interest rate. It is on this premise that we seek assistance to also access some of the palliatives measures to alleviate the adverse effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the society in general and members of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPs),” the letter read.

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EduCeleb.com earlier reported that an attempt by a few private schools to resume in Rivers State, Southern Nigeria backfired as the state government accused them of extorting parents during the pandemic when they sought that parents pay their wards’ school fees and have them resume school.

The government threatened to sanction any school that violates the stay-at-home order.

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