The Enugu chapter of Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON), has expressed worries over multiple taxation and levies by the state government and its agencies.
The state chairman of the association, Mr Emeka Grahams, who said this while speaking with newsmen described the situation as worrisome.
According to him, from time to time, tofficials and representatives of government agencies will come to demand certain amount from the school owners.
Grahams, who is also the Proprietor of Ivy League School, Enugu said Nigerians have erroneous belief that private schools owners make millions, without looking at the expenses they incur in running the schools.
“When it comes to collection of levies, they ask other business owners to pay N2000 but for private schools, they will ask us to pay N2 million.
“Everyone in the country believes that private school owners are in money which is contrary to the reality on ground.
“Even touts can get up anytime to request money from us and if any member is not courageous, they will scam him or her. It is a very big challenge and worrisome to us,” he said.
He charged members of the association to be on alert and enquire from individuals asking them for money their identity.
“Many school owners have suffered from the hands of these people, “ he said.
The chairman also emphasised the need for the state government to support private schools to enable them attain the approved standard in the state.
Grahams stated that many schools were struggling to come up while others were hiding from the ministry officials in charge of enforcement.
“The government can give them loan to upgrade to the required standard rather than trying to close them.
“Many of them do not pay tax because they are not recognised but they enjoy the services of the government, but if they get approval, there will be more revenue for government,” he said.
UNIMAID Develops Device To Tackle Insecurity
Shugaba who revealed this at a forum in Abuja, Yesterday, said the innovative idea became imperative following the devastating effects of insecurity in Borno and its environ.
Shagabu said the university was working with some relevant stakeholders in the area of research and development to provide an enabling environment for effective academic activities in the institution.
He said “ in recent years, we have started recording success in research; we have recorded about five patents and we have breakthrough in registering the patents.
We are now looking at the commercialisation of them”According to him, one of the patents was in veterinary medicine; a kind of ointment that could be applied for the treatment of some animal diseases. “The other one is in the area of telescope that will allow someone to view certain things from a far distance. Another one was in the area of engineering”, he stated.
The Vice Chancellor said the university had received some awards as a result of its achievements in research. Speaking on incentives, Shagabu said there were no specific incentives to motivate the staff to work except “the visiting lecturers whom the university gives 75 per cent of their salary.’’ He, however, said that in spite of the security challenges people were still taking up jobs in the region except those that were not from the region.
According to him, Maiduguri is the safest place in the country irrespective of the security challenges and urged Nigerian students to go into whatever field of study they had passion for even in the university and harness the opportunities in the areas, saying “there is no single course that one will study and will not find use for it.” Shugaba said that all the programmes in the University of Maiduguri had gotten full accreditation from National Universities Commission (NUC) except “Civil and Water Resources Engineering”.
“But we are trying to remedy it, we have put in enough resources; we have injected about N200 million through the appropriation budget and the Borno State government has also injected some facilities”.
Poor Management Of Tertiary Institutions’ Funds, Major Challenge – Minister
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who stated this while inaugurating governing councils of new eight federal polytechnics and six federal colleges of education, also warned council members against corruption and interference in the day-to-day operations of the institutions.
He said: “Poor management of funds remains a major operational constraint in the sector. It is expected that the limited funds allocated by government should be judiciously utilised.
“Also it is evident that government cannot provide all the funds required to run polytechnics and colleges of education, councils should think out of the box and endeavour to generate more revenue, outside government allocations.
In this regard, councils should enlist the support of philanthropic organisations, individuals and other sources of revenue through an endowment for additional funding of their institutions,” he said.
Adamu warned that President Muhammadu Buhari would not hesitate to dissolve any council found to be corrupt and/or incompetent, noting, however, that with the calibre of men and women being inaugurated, “I am hopeful that he would have no need to exercise his powers in this regard.”
The minister urged the councils to respect the principle of federal character in the appointment of members of staff, stating that some institutions have become parochial and primordial enclaves, with the concept of universalism in education jettisoned, especially in matters regarding staff employment.
He charged members of the councils particularly to work with the Federal Character Commission to ensure compliance.
The minister added that the drive to revamp the quality output of higher education in Nigeria rests on governing councils, and expressed confidence that they would bring their wealth of experience, adherence to and respect for rule of law and due process, to bear in the discharge of their duties.
Mock Exam, Condition For NECO/ WASSCE Reg In Kogi
At a meeting of the management of the Ministry of Education and proprietors of private schools in Lokoja, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Wemi Jones , reiterated the State Education Law 2020.
The Commissioner who was represented at the meeting by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Emmanuel Idenyi, said schools should register and present details of their candidates for Common Entrance and Mock examinations to the Ministry according to provisions of the State Education Law 2020 or be sanctioned.
According to him, “Mock, which is designed to help students prepare for NECO and WASSCE had to be centralised like the external examinations it mimicked; this should be coordinated by the Ministry”.
The Commissioner explained that the guidelines of Kogi Education Law 2020 as approved is not punitive but designed to aid school owners to operate effectively and the Ministry to project and prepare schools in the state to best standards.
He encouraged owners of private schools who had hitherto failed to register with the Ministry to do so immediately as unapproved schools would not be allowed to write external examinations.
He further appealed to private school owners to register with the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools for ease of administration.
While announcing that four students in the state qualified for the 2022 Olympia National Maths Quiz Competition and would be sponsored to the next stage in Jos by the Ministry, the Commissioner noted that the State Education Ministry had addressed shortcomings of the past and better results were being recorded.
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