Private school proprietors in Abuja rebuff Nyesom Wike’s proposal to raise fees


An impending surge in fees for private schools based in Abuja looms following the decision by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to increase operational charges for private educational institutions in the capital city.

According to a memo obtained by our correspondent on Monday from the Head of Account at the Department of Quality Assurance of the Education Secretariat, Mudi Muhammed, the adjustment will come into effect from January 2024. The memo, titled “Revision of Private School Operational Fees in FCT,” indicates a departure from the previous fee structure. Under the new regime, each school will be assessed based on student tuition and enrollment figures.

The National Association of Private School Owners in the FCT expressed concern in a letter to the Education Secretariat, emphasizing that such a tax revision contradicts the Federal Government’s pledge to streamline taxes. The association, represented by Chairperson Ruqayah Agboola, argued that this move would inflate educational costs, potentially exacerbating the issue of out-of-school children.

Members of the association, speaking anonymously, revealed their intention to address their grievances directly with Minister Nyesom Wike. Additionally, they plan to inform the Parents-Teachers Association about the newly imposed tax.

In their letter to the Education Secretariat, NAPPS outlined various challenges confronting private schools, including economic hardships, outstanding bank loans, unpaid fees from parents, multiple levies imposed by local governments and other agencies, and the financial burden of staff salaries and infrastructure maintenance. As a remedy, the association proposed a 50% reduction in the existing annual dues to alleviate financial strain and facilitate the recovery of outstanding payments.

The proposed fee hike has sparked apprehension among private school owners, who fear that it will further strain their finances and hinder their ability to provide quality education. With the looming increase in operational charges, private schools in Abuja are bracing themselves for a challenging period ahead, grappling with the delicate balance between financial sustainability and maintaining educational standards.

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Flickers of Hope is a Non-Governmental Organization with a primary focus on Education. We aim to educate, mentor, empower and equip young people, as beacons of hope for the nation.
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