COVID-19: Private School Owners Cry Out For Help, Seek Revolving Loan

Private School owners, under the aegis of the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON), have appealed to the Federal Government to facilitate a revolving loan scheme for them at a reduced interest rate to mitigage the effects of Coronavirus pandemic.

APSON, in a letter addressed to the Minister of Education entitled: “Request for Stimulus Package for Private School Owners and Teachers” urged that the loan should be with a single-digit interest rate and provide at least a five -year interest free moratorium.

It also requested for a stimulus package for private school teachers to enable them and their immediate families to survive the economic hardship caused by COVID-19.

The letter was signed by Dr. Godly E. Opukeme, National President of the association, Alhaji Abdur-rahman Marafa, National Secretary, and Bishop Emmanuel Elakhe, National Director of administration.

The association said that the appeal had been made necessary due to disruptions and redundancies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and indefinite closure of non-essential businesses including private and public schools.

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The letter read in part: “The plights of teachers in private schools – secondary, primary and kindergarten – have been exacerbated by the inability of most proprietors to meet their financial obligations.

“Private school owners which are the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria’s private sector remain irrevocably committed to the Nigerian project.

“Private teachers unlike their counterparts in public sector who enjoy seamless allowances and monthly emoluments have been subjected to public ridicule arising from failure to pick up accumulated bills since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“If our request is considered, such a stimulus package will therefore help private school owners to overcome the challenges and keep their teachers in business, pay annual renewal fees, dues, rates and rent.”