Parents lament high cost of schools items

As schools prepare to resume for the 2017/2018 academic session on Monday, Nigerian parents have expressed concerns about the high cost of school items.

Some parents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday said school items had become costlier than the school fees.

A civil servant, Mr Wale Olufela, told NAN that school fees remained the same from the previous session, but prices of textbooks, writing materials, school bags and shoes had gone up.

“We learnt that Nigeria is out of recession, but it is yet to reflect on the cost of living because things are still expensive.

“I am tempted to believe that the traders are taking undue advantage of the economic situation to exploit consumers,’’ he said.

Another parent, Mr Benedict Chukwuwinke, a businessman, said that the cost of textbooks and stationeries was quite high.

Traders in school items such as textbooks, school bags and stationeries, however, ruled out any form of profiteering, saying that the profit margin on books was quite minimal.

Mrs Olabisi Aina of Favour Bookshop, Oshodi said: “We are into the business to keep body and soul together, not that there is much gain in the business.

“The publishers are complaining of the high cost of materials and papers, so they have reduced the quantity they usually publish.

“Some are not even publishing at all again, as such; some of the books requested for are not available.

“I have a list of books that parents have been coming to ask for and I have called the publishers several times to find out if the books would be available but no response yet.’’

Mrs Mary Andrew, who deals in lunch bag, said very few parents were buying as most were coming to repair old ones.

She said that the situation had left the traders at crossroads because a lot of bags were made with hope that they will be sold.

“The few who bought the bags are even complaining that the quality is poor, which was not intentional,’’ she said.

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