Ekiti private schools shut business over alleged education levy
For the first time, private primary and secondary schools in Ekiti State yesterday began a three-day strike to protest against alleged imposition of N1,000 per term education development levy on pupils by the state government.
Government had initially limited the N1000 levy to public secondary schools while their primary school counterparts were to part with N500. But a reported circular from the Ministry of Education, later on, extended the payments to private schools which had since been resisted by the National Association of Proprietors and Proprietress of Private Schools in the state.
The body, in its protest, maintained that the exercise contravened Section 42(1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The association’s president, Alhaji Saka Adeleye, while addressing journalists yesterday in Ado Ekiti, said private schools in the state would remain shut for three days to protest multiple taxation.
Adeleye wondered why government extended the levy to private schools that enjoyed no benefit from it, despite allegedly paying 12 different taxes.
He listed the collections to include Annual Renewal Fee, Personal Income Tax, Pay As You Earn for Staff, Personal Development Fee, Registration of Business Premises Fee, Environment Levy, Vehicle Permit fee and Tenement Rate.
“There is no infrastructural development to private schools. Nothing was given to us to develop our schools, all the government does is to extort through taxes. Even during the outbreak of the deadly disease, Ebola – no kit was given to us.
“We use our capital to fund our schools. Not even textbooks, chalks from the government. The government distributed laptops to public schools but not only one was given to private schools. So what are we gaining?
“Even if the government decides to reduce the development levy, we are not ready to pay. We have made several attempts to meet the governor, but all efforts proved abortive,” Adeleye stated.