Akwa Ibom: Forum raises alarm over excessive taxing of private schools

A group known as Open Forum has raised the alarm over what it described as excessive taxing of private schools by the Akwa Ibom state government.

It decried that most of private education providers are constantly being dragged to revenue court for defaulting, despite the present harsh economic reality occasioned by Covid-19.

This was contained in a communiqué of the 2nd Open Forum Town Hall Meeting signed by the chairman on the meeting, chairman of the communiqué drafting committee and the convener; Prof. Comfort Ekpo, Mr Etim Onobo and Mr Citizen Okono, respectively and obtained by our correspondent in Uyo on Thursday.

The communiqué noted that education is a social service to the public, urging that government should reduce “excessive charges and taxation on private schools to ensure and enhance congenial operational environment”.

They cautioned that for the state to guarantee quality education system, the budgetary provision for education should be raised to meet the benchmark of 20 and 26 percent set out by the United Nations.

“The Akwa Ibom Strategic Education Roadmap (AKSER), having been adopted by the state government should be strategically implemented to guarantee the repositioning of education in the state.

“In view of the enormous number of private education providers in the state, there is a compelling need for the establishment of Private Schools Board.

“In view of the fact that education is to important and capital intensive to be left to government alone, immediate establishment of Akwa Ibom Education Endowment Fund (AKEEF) or Akwa Ibom Education Trust Fund,” the communiqué recommended.