As schools resume for new academic session, traders in Lagos are lamenting low patronage of schooling items by parents, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN reports that dealers in books, shoes, bags, uniforms and other items are complaining about that buyers are not coming as expected.
They told NAN in separate interviews that the patronage was not impressive compare to previous times when schools resume for new session.
Mrs Chinonso Shina, who runs Shina Bookshop at Moshalasi,Alagbado, said that the patronage was not as impressive as before.
Shina attributed this lull to the country’s economic recession, but added that many of the textbooks on demands were not available.
“The publishers are complaining about high cost of material and papers, prompting them to reduce the quantity published.
“Some are not even publishing at all and as such, some of the books requested for are not available,’’ Shina said.
Miss Benedicta Osuagwu, a schoolbags dealer, also complained about poor sales.
According to her, even when children still have good school bags, parents are in the habit of buying new ones for the new session.
“That is not the same now, it is as if they are now cutting cost.
“I approached my customers to ask if I should bring some bags for their children, many of them said the old ones were still in good condition,’’ Osuagwu said.
A parent, Mr Adbulrahman Onikoyi, said his plight was about the increase in tuition fees by schools.
Onikoyi told NAN that the schools were given excuses about the current inflation in the country as the reason for the increase.
“I taught of changing my children’s school to cheaper ones, but by my investigation, they too have increased their fees.
“If I have to register them in a new school, I will even spend more on registration, uniforms and other things.
“I think the government should come to our rescue and regulate fees being charged by these private schools,’’ he said.
A mother, Mrs Florence Ajayi, told NAN that she only managed to buy some core textbooks for her children and forego other school items because “the prices were outrageous’’.
Ajayi said items like school bags, sandals, socks, lunch bag and boxes were among those things she could not afford now.
“I decided to assemble the old items the children used last term and clean them up for use in the new session because there is no money to buy new ones,’’ Ajayi said.
Another parent, Mr Bola Makinde, described school resumption as a period to incur compulsory expenses.
Makinde said that buying books were compulsory but one need to prioritise buying for core subjects, leaving those that were not so compulsory.
“I bought a dozen of 60 leaves for N850 as against N500 and six higher Education notebook for N800 as against N500.
“These are essential learning materials the children need,’’ Makinde said.
He, however, said that other expenses on shoes and bags could be avoided if the old ones were still in good condition.
A trader in Odumota market at dopemu, Lagos, Mrs Titilope Gold, said traders were not responsible for the hike in price of school items, adding: “we sell according to how we buy”.
`According to her, things are very expensive from the manufacturers as they all complain about high exchange rate.
“Even we, the sellers, are not happy with the hike in prices of virtually all items in the market, just as the buyers are complaining,’’ Gold said. (NAN)