Many parents and guardians across Nigeria are groaning over the recent school fee hike in the prices of primary, secondary and tertiary education across the country amid accelerating inflation.
Joseph Nwankwo, a businessman with children in both secondary school and University said the reality of the high cost of living is that there is a multiplier effect on everything including school fees, books, uniforms, boarding fees, food and other items.
“I have a child in one of the top-notch secondary schools in Lagos. I got a letter from the school that my child’s fee is now N1.2 million as against N500,000 we were paying before,” he said.
“This is just ridiculous, where do I start from, the elder brother is in the university, and we are yet to know their new fee,” he added.
Patience Ajayi, a public servant bemoaned the situation as according to her, everything is getting out of hand.
“My daughter’s school fee has increased from N26,000 to N34,000 and I’m yet to know the cost of books, uniforms and other accessories,” she said.
“The other day, I was in the market to buy a food flask since her old one has spoiled, and I was told the price is now N13,000 against N4,500 (over 200 percent increase) it was before.
“In fact, the whole thing is driving one crazy, how will one cope with this devastating scenario where the prices of food items, transport, and other daily needs are surging, while salary remains constant,” she queried.
Also, Adekunle Oguntimehin, whose son is in one of the top notch private schools in Jakande Estate at Isolo suburban said that undoubtedly, the sudden skyrocketing of petroleum price due to the subsidy removal has resulted in cost surge.
“The inflation has ballooned the cost of food items, transportation, electronics to mention but few. In SMA College where my son attends, the school fee has not changed from what it used to be two years ago.
“However, parents whose children are in the terminal class (JSS3 and SSS3) are compelled to pay for the external examinations such as WAEC and NECO along with the school fees.
“This eventually resulted in about a 100 percent increase in the payment made to the school,” he said.
“We are all minimising our cost so as to be able to accommodate whatever the increase may be,” he added.
Charity Inyang, another mother whose daughter is in Queens College, Lagos said the school management has increased the fee from N35,000 to N150,000, (over 400 percent) while books and PTA fee increased from N7,000 to N15,000.
Similarly, Reuben Ikoriko, a civil servant, decried the unfriendly economic challenges faced by Nigerians.
“Weekly, I spend more than N10,000 on transport from my house to Victoria Island because I cannot afford to fuel my car going by the prevailing petrol pump price.
“Yesterday, my wife informed me that my son’s school has increased the fee from N50,000 to N120,000 excluding the bus fee and other concomitant levies.
“I could not even summon the courage to look at the memo from the school because if I do, where is the money to foot the bill. I’m just overwhelmed with the situation,” he lamented.
Emmanuel Oluwadare, a public servant confirmed that his children’s fees have been increased by the various schools.
“Yes, the children’s school fees have been increased. The one in primary school, the fee is increased from N25,000 to N35,000; the one in secondary school from N30,000 to N45,000, while the one in public university the fee increased from N60,000 to N80,000,” he said.
The pump price of premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, was raised from N537 to N617 at some filling stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently.
Consequently, this erratic price change is affecting virtually every other sphere of human endeavours across the country.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recent report, “Nigeria’s annual inflation rate rose to 22.79 percent in June from 22.41 percent in the previous month.”
The food inflation rate in June 2023 was 25.25 percent on a year – on year basis; this was 4.65 percent points higher relative to the rate recorded in 2022.