By NBF News

Book sellers on Tuesday in Lagos complained of low patronage by parents ahead of resumption of schools next week in the state.

A check by the News Agency of Nigeria shows that bookshops in Ojuelegba, Yaba, Oyingbo, Surulere and Ikeja witnessed low patronage.

NAN reports that public schools are expected to resume for the new academic session on Sept. 20.

A bookseller at Oyingbo, Mr. James Ode told NAN that parents had not been patronising them in preparation for the resumption of schools.

'Parents have not been coming to buy books for their children and wards who will resume school next week.

'I only sold few copies recently and the few ones I sold were on credit,'' he said.

Ode attributed the low patronage to the free textbooks being given to pupils of public schools by the Lagos State government as well as the harsh economic situation in the country.

Another bookseller, Mr. Akin Adelowo, who also complained of poor patronage, said only parents whose children were in private schools patronised them.

'Some parents whose children are in private schools patronise us. Generally, most parents are not buying books as we expect,'' he added.

A parent, Mr. Akeem Aluko, who was spotted at a bookshop in Oyingbo, said the government had greatly reduced their burden by providing some books for the pupils as well as a conducive learning environment in the institutions.

“My children are still attending public schools because of the conviction that I have in this government for providing a good learning environment in the schools.

'I do not have any cause to take my children to fee-paying private schools,'' he said.

Another parent, Mrs. Nafisat Olajumoke commended the state government for assisting parents by providing some basic books for pupils.

'We thank the government for the assistance and urged it to do more,'' she said.

Meanwhile, rehabilitation work has begun in some schools in preparation for the 2010/2011 academic session.