The recent fuel price hike owing to subsidy removal is piling more pressure on school operators.
Many school owners can no longer fuel their buses and put on generators to make classrooms comfortable for students as the cost of fueling vehicles and generators has tripled.
The price of fuel in Nigeria was raised to an average of N526.7 per litre from an average of N191.8 per litre about a month ago.
Oworonke Adepoju, a school owner in Lagos disclosed that her school was having a difficult time coping with the new development as the bus drivers find it hard to get fuel and that even when the fuel is gotten it is at an exorbitant rate.
“Many of our buses are down because we can’t get fuel, and when seen we are made to pay over 200 percent of the former price.
“This has resulted in our inability to pick up some of our students on time, and many of the parents are unhappy but it is beyond our control,” she said.
Elizabeth Ohaka, proprietress of Redwood Academy, a private nursery and primary school in Lagos said the effect of the fuel subsidy removal was still fresh, and that the school was trying to adjust to the new development.
“We are still trying to work out our next move. It is not a decision to rush into as it affects us all. Just as it is not easy for us, our parents are not finding things easy too.
“We have already charged for the term and cannot go back on that. However, we are looking at adjusting the cost of tuition in the new term,” she said.
Also, Kingsley Amechi, a father of two lamented that the situation has left him in a very difficult situation as he has to shuttle between work and his children’s school.
“These days the school buses hardly arrive on time. Before they embarked on the mid-term break, I was going to pick since I can’t rely on a school bus we were not sure would come.
“When I called the school, I was told they were still waiting to see if they would get fuel,” he said.
Amechi further disclosed that the school has sent them a notification that the bus fare would be re-negotiated as they cannot cope with the current cost of maintaining bus service for students.
Another parent, Ayeni Olawiyola shared his experience thus; “My children almost could not go to school the other day because the school bus was not available.
“When I called to ascertain the situation, the head teacher told me that they could not get fuel and would not be able to come.
“I had to arrange for a ‘Keke’ (tricycle-bike) that took my children to school. Meanwhile, the school is insisting on a new fare as they claimed they can no longer offer their bus business at the old rate on a new fuel pump price,” he said.