By Todimu Ogunade
With the dwindling effect of the economy that has stared Nigeria in the face since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, owners of bookstores in Akure have continued to lament its effect on their business as schools in Ondo state prepare for resumption, next Monday.
The financial constraints and challenges are far from over as parents, some of whom are civil servants and entrepreneurs, have lamented the cost of school materials for the commencement of a new session which is the 18th of September.
A large number of bookshops along Oja-oba, Akure visited by our reporter was a hive of sale activities as people trooped in and out to purchase textbooks and other school materials.
Mr. Olorunfemi George, who owns T&N bookstore who said he has been in the business for over 20 told SUNSHINE HERALD about the decline of sales in the last one year and how it has affected his business.
“Whenever students are preparing to resume for the next session and that is the period we call season period because this job is very very seasonal.
“It is once in a year, the period is September when they are preparing for the next class.
“We run up and down to make some stocks, buy books but at the end of the day, we discover parents are not coming to the bookshop to purchase well, apart from the parents purchasing, you know there is no money.”
As a result, most parents were left with the choice of purchasing the necessary textbooks they could afford.
At Arowolo bookshop, Oja-oba, who did not give his name said:
“I have three children. It is not easy. I went to their school to ask for the one I should buy because last year, I bought almost everything and many, they didn’t use and you know children, they tear it.”
Coupled with the inflation on products and no increment on wages and salaries, Mrs. Olayinka Kolawole’s expectations were far from reality as her budget for the school materials for her children who are still in nursery school, was below the price list.
While speaking with SUNSHINE HERALD, she lamented the cost and value of the books.
“Like before, when I was in primary five, I have my sister that is coming behind me. She can use that textbook but in nursery school now, if you have textbook, your junior one cannot use it and the textbook is very very expensive nearly every year.”
Many have succumbed to buying just notebooks and textbooks for students who are proceeding to JSS1 and SSS1.
Mrs. Olumuyiwa, who owns Noble bookshop, which is directly opposite Arowolo bookshop buttressed these developments by parents.
She stated that all the school materials have increased by 50% this year 2017.
The General Mathematics for JSS1, which goes for 1000 naira as at last year is sold for 1,450 naira this year. Others which were sold for 800 naira are sold for 1,500 naira.
The 60 leaves notebook which was sold for 180 naira to 200 naira as at last year has greatly increased between 800 to 850 naira.
Mrs Olumuyiwa and other working-class parents keep their hopes high that the situation of things will change for the better.
Adekani Ayobami, who came to purchase some textbooks for his younger sister in JSS 3 admitted that virtually all the textbooks are used and recommended, but complained about the cost. When asked if his parents could afford all the textbooks, he
When asked if his parents could afford all the textbooks, he replied:” I don’t know anything to say about that.”