Bookshop operators in Ondo State have implored parents across the state to continue to patronize them.
The state president of Booksellers Association, Mr Olumuyiwa Idowu made the appeal in a chat with The Hope in his bookshop in Oja- Oba, along Adesida road, Akure, the state capital.
He thanked parents for their patronage during the school resumption despite the increase in books prices, saying most parents know the value of quality education and are willing to get it for their children.
While addressing the issue of whether private schools selling books affects their sales, Idowu said the booksellers do not have problems with the proprietors because they are also into business and have to make money to pay their staff and tax to government.
He alleged that the challenge the booksellers are facing is selling of books by public schools’ principals and teachers, saying the association has written a petition to the government through the Commissioner for Education, adding that circular to stop the selling have been issued to address the matter.
He pleaded with the government to help enforce the directive contained in the circular by sending task force to the public schools.
The president appreciated the publishers for cooperating with them by supplying the needed books for the various schools, saying that private schools selling books have not stopped them from delivering books to bookshops operators across the state.
His words: “We thank God, He has been helping us because it is not easy. We also thank the parents for patronizing us to buy books for their children. The only unfortunate thing is that prices of books is a bit higher this year generally, but parents have been able to cope because many of them see the value in education. For those of us in the business of bookselling, it has not been easy for us to get funds to finance the business.
“However, the fact that schools now sell books is an issue affecting booksellers. Recently we wrote a petition against the public schools and submitted it to the Commissioner for Education and other education related bodies. They have intervened, but unfortunately the principals and teachers of some public schools are not cooperating.
“I am not referring to the private schools because they are also doing business. They have many people to pay, their staff and they pay tax too to the government. That is why we can not fight the private schools because they are doing business.
Principals and teachers of public schools are not paying taxes for selling books. So it is not proper for them to sell books. Most of the parents that should have come to buy from us are been persuaded into buying from them. I am aware that the Commissioner has sent a circular to them to stop selling books, but they have not desisted from this act.
‘ They do this mostly when fresh students are resuming. Some public schools did not release the list of the books to the public and bookshops. We appeal to government to send task force to enforce the directive in the circular. If any principal and teacher wants to sell books, they should get a shop and pay tax to the government, but we will not accept them hiding to do this.
‘All bookshops sells their books at publisher’s price. I commend the Publishers, they have been cooperating in giving us books but when there is scarcity of money, it affects them too because they would publish few copies of the books needed. We thanked our parents for buying books from us and I implore them to continue to patronize us.” he concluded.
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