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FCT imposes 5% tax on fees in private schools — owners want Wike to scrap it

The schools say they're already struggling to weather Nigeria's current economic storm.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike [NAN]

Rukayat Agboola, the association's chairperson made the call in a statement signed by the Abuja Joint Private Schools Associations.

Agboola appealed to the minister to intervene by halting the implementation of the tax imposed on payable school fees in all private schools in the FCT by the Department of Quality Assurance, DQA under the Education Secretary, FCT.

She said the newly implemented tax system outlined by the DQA imposes a substantial burden on private schools, many of which were struggling to weather the current economic storm irrespective of their location within the FCT.

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"For instance, under the newly introduced tax regime, a private school with say 100 students charging ₦100,000 per term is expected to pay ₦500,000 and ₦1,500,000 per term and yearly respectively.

"A school having 300 students is thus expected to pay ₦1,500,000 and ₦4,500,000 per term and yearly respectively.

"The retrospective application of the tax starting from the day of registration and accreditation of each school will further exacerbate the financial challenges faced by longstanding educational institutions," she said

Agboola said the group had earlier engaged with the Mandate Secretary for Education and Director, DQA, on concerns about the taxes and the inconsistency of the charges on payable school fees.

She said issues discussed also included the Value Added Tax Act which exempts educational services from value added tax coverage.

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"We are disheartened to learn of the approval, as conveyed through a circular posted on the social media under the hands of the Head of Accounts, DOA Mudi Mohammed.

"The burden of taxes and levies on FCT private schools has become overwhelming, leading to frustration and closure of many private institutions.

"There are many taxes and levies that FCT private schools contend with annually.

"These are tenement rate, premises inspection, continuous habitation, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Signage, ARCON Registration, DOA levy, Environmental /Sanitary inspection.

"Also Mobile Advert for school buses, FIRS and FCT-IRS, NSITF, CAC Annual return, CAC company Income Tax, PAYE on Staff, DOA Yearly dues, DOA Accreditation and DOA Re-Accreditation," she said.

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She appealed to the minister to use his good office to halt the imposed taxes on school fees and harmonise the taxes and levies, as well as waiver all outstanding charges payable by private schools.

This she said should be the Renewed Hope Palliative Grant of President Bola Tinubu through the minsiter to private schools in the FC.

Agboola said the intervention would assist the schools remain in business and continue to serve as reliable partners in the president's and minister's quest for mass and quality education.

She pleaded that the group be granted an opportunity to pay the minister a courtesy visit to further discuss on the issue and collectively proffer solutions to enhance quality education in the FCT.

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