From: Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The leadership of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, in Ebonyi State, has lamented alleged harassment and extortion of its members by the officials of the raised the Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board (ACTDB) and its consultants.
They alleged that the ACTDB and its consultants overtaxed their schools beyond what was normal. They also alleged that the accused government’s Board used armed officials of the Nigeria Society of Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to intimidate them especially when they fault their authoritarianism.
Chairman of NAPPS in the state, Mr. Onyeoma Kelechi, who made the allegation, while briefing newsmen, in Abakaliki, further alleged that the Board, the Consultants and their Taskforce team have become a nightmare to them and their students.
“They intimidate, harass our members and even cart away every kind of our school property on daily basis. Our members are assessed and billed by the Consultants beyond what we can reasonably pay. And more worrisome is the use of armed men of Civil Defence Corps to invade and terrorize our schools and children” he alleged.
He explained that the state chapter of NAPPS had within the years under review prevailed on all their law abiding members to pay all approved taxes and levies to the state without failure.
They appealed to Governor David Umahi to, as a matter of urgency, call the officials of Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board (ACTDB), their consultants, and taskforce team to order.
They, however, commended the regular site and establishment inspections by officials of the Ministry of Education which has made it possible to grant approval to genuine proprietors who put in their best in meeting-up with the basic standard requirement.
They added that NAPPS would soon set up a high powered committee to identify all sub-standard and mush-room private schools in the state for immediate closure