PARENTS want the best for their children, no matter the circumstances. They aspire to give their children the best from medicare to education, best clothing and a conducive environment to grow. However, the cost of raising a child in Nigeria is gradually sky rocketing, stretching their resources to the limit.
Most parents have to reach the deeper part of their pockets to pay their children’s and wards’ school fees. About 80 per cent of parents have been forced to cut back to meet the financial demands of raising their offsprings. Some even opt for loan, while some civil servants depend on co-operative societies to meet up.
The cost of raising a child varies from state to state. Costs are usually determined according to the major areas of expenditure such as food, education, housing, clothing, medical services, etc.
The financial burden starts when a woman is pregnant. She has to register for regular antenatal and of course, take balanced diet. To register for antenatal, a middle class woman pays between N60,000 and N100,000, while an average person pays between N15,000 and N30,000. Child delivery in one of the best hospitals in Lagos is between N150,000 and N400,000 depending on if it is a normal delivery or caesarean. For example, Lagoon Hospitals charge about N150,000 for normal delivery and N250,000 to N300,000 for caesarean. This also depends on the state of art equipment the hospital has. Some parents would prefer a much cheaper medicare, depending on their financial muscle. Such could patronize hospitals where they pay between N20,000 and N50,000. For caesarean section, such hospitals charge between N100,000 and N150,000.
Before the baby is born, it is extremely important for the mother to buy all the necessities the child would need upon its arrival. From diapers to clothes, bathing set, pram or court, toiletries, etc. An average family will budget between N200,000 and N300,000. This also varies, depending on the family’s income. Some parents would go for a lesser budget of N50,000 to N100,000.
The cost continues to rise until the child grows. The cost of putting a child in one of the best crèches in Lagos is about N40,000 per term. An average family might settle for a lesser crèche, ranging from N5,000 to N10,000 per term.
From crèche, a child moves to kindergarten, then Nursery 1 to 2. A middle class parent pays between N140,000 and N200,000 per term while an average parent pays N15,000 to N25,000 per term.
Moving to primary school, the middle to upper class who are willing to spare no costs could send their children to a school like St. Saviours, Ikoyi, Lagos where they pay between N1 million and N1.5 million for a session per child. Whereas, an average family settles for affordable schools that cost from N10,000 to N50,000 per term, the middle to upper class who want the very best for their children could also go for British International School, Prep or Corona which are also in the league of St. Saviours.
Proceeding to secondary school, one of the best secondary schools in Lagos is British International School. Parents pay in dollars. To enroll their child in the boarding house, you have to part with N4.480 million per session. Day students pay N2.640 million per session. Parents will pay all of N26.880 million for their child’s six years stay in secondary school.
Some parents will go for a much lesser school because of other expenses or their income level. Such parents will pay between N40,000 and N60,000 per term.
It is imperative for parents to enroll their children or wards for West African School Certificate Examination and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), before they can be admitted into the university. Some parents will also register their children for GCE (General Certificate Examination), hence N27,000 would be paid for WAEC for children in private schools while parents who send their children to public schools are lucky not to pay for the examinations. Notwithstanding, they pay N10,000 for GCE and N10,500 for UTME. There are instances where some parents arrange special tutorials and examinations for their children at over a N100,000.
Abti American University, Yola, Adamawa State is one of the most expensive universities in Nigeria. Parents who see it as their choice for their children will pay N1.5 million per session, excluding feeding and accommodation.
A student who is studying a four-year course, will spend N6 million to bag a degree in Abti. Accommodation and feeding not included. Other schools such as Bowen, Igbinedion, Caleb are also choice universities for the middle and upper class.
Some average earners also struggle to give their children a university education in one of these schools which charge between N350,000 and N500,000. Some parents opt for government universities where they pay between N120,000 to N250,000.
From childbirth to university, the cost of raising a child in this side of the world has been on the increase, and there seems to be no sign of the trend reversing. To raise a child from birth to university, a middle or upper class parent spends an average of N40.9 million while an average family spends N4.39m.
However, the cost of feeding, medicare and accommodation are not included because they vary and might be complex to evaluate.
List Middle Class Parent Average Parent
Antenatal N60,000 N10,000
Baby things N200,000 N50,000
Child birth N150,000 N20,000
Creche to Nur. 2 N480,000 N80,000
Pry School (6 yrs) N8 million N1 million
Secondary Sch. (6 yrs) N26 million N1.8 million
WAEC, GCE, UTME N47,500 N20,500
University (6 yrs) N6 million N1.5 million
N40.9 million N4.39 million