Written by Godfrey AKON

Private schools fear UBEC audit may check tax compliance

Some owners of private schools in the country are having a hard time with the ongoing National Personnel Audit, NPA, carried out by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.

Chairman of UBEC Board, Dr Mahmood Abubakar, said the proprietors fear the exercise could be a ploy to check on their level of tax compliance and quality of education in their schools.

Abubakar, who spoke in Abuja while monitoring the ongoing nationwide personnel audit, maintained that if private schools are given licenses to be inspected, they must be regulated to comply with set rules and regulations.

While expressing happiness with the collaboration of state universal basic education boards, SUBEBs, and other agencies to ensure a successful exercise, he said the audit was aimed at collecting data for the purpose of planning, and could not be complete without data from private schools.

“So far, we are happy; things are going well especially with public schools; the only problem is with some of the private schools who seem to think this exercise has to do with taxation or checking the quality of education in their schools.

“At this point, we are looking for information and we are collecting data for the purpose of planning and this data will not be complete without the data from the private schools,” he said.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hammid Bobboyi, said the 2018 personnel audit was the first time that private schools are included in the exercise, adding that in the last two decades only public schools had been enumerated.

Bobboyi said the UBEC enumerating team had problems in the southern part of the country where there are a greater number of private schools.

A UBEC official, Omowunmi Fransisca, who accompanied the monitoring team to LEA Primary School Kutunku, Gwagwalada, said officials deplored to the Local Governments faced terrain challenges due to lack of access roads.

Fransisca however said the challenges were surmounted as the enumerating team used motorcycles to reach areas that were not accessible by car.

Details of the census carried out in Abuja showed that AMAC had 1,862 private and public schools, Kuje 305, Bwari 479, Gwagwalada 503, Kwali 222, and Abaji 126.

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