How to Start a Private School in Nigeria


Starting a private school business in Nigeria, as much as it is on the increase, is very lucrative. The education sector in Nigeria remains overwhelmed with increasing demands for more schools all thanks to the vegetable-like population of the country, which is estimated to be about 180 million people.

In addition to the above, the poor funding of government-owned schools in Nigeria is one of the main reasons most parents take into account before moving their wards to private schools. Why? Poor funding by the government means the schools will no doubt be poorly equipped, possibly short-staffed and overpopulation of students in classes.

Regardless, the education sector is just as sensitive as the health sector because education forms the basis for any child in today’s world. What this means is that it is not just enough to start a private school with the intention of making money, at best, child development should be your drive as all other things will fall in place.

So if you are planning on owning a private school and wondering how you’d start, go about it or the long list of items to note before starting a private school in Nigeria, then this detailed guide is for you. In this post, you will learn how to register and own a private school in Nigeria as well as some vital tips to take you must take into consideration.

The issues of cost, affordability, ostentation and ‘snob appeal’ will always be up for debate (yes, there are those who feel that parents send their children to private schools as a display of affluence), but this takes nothing away from the fact that private schools have helped to provide a viable alternative to meeting the challenge of imparting quality education to an increasingly demanding young population.

Owning a private school in Nigeria is no mean feat, as can be gathered from interactions with successful proprietors of such schools.

Steps to Start a Private School in Nigeria

Running a private school in Nigeria takes time, dedication, resources, and more importantly, determination. An individual intending to run a private school in Nigeria will be faced with a number of requirements and/or challenges. Therefore, it is important that you take below into account and consider them as steps to starting your private school:

  • Finding a Niche: it is important for an intending proprietor to dig deep and discover his educational niche. This is what separates good schools from mushroom halls. A proprietor has to determine whether he intends to administer kindergarten, primary school or secondary school.
  • Choice of Location: It is important to secure land in a good, accessible area. No parent would want to enrol a child in isolated area where human life is far and between. A minimum of one plot of 120 by 60 is needed to accommodate school buildings, playgrounds and other relevant infrastructure. In cases where the proprietor intends to erect a boarding facility, a much larger expanse of land, preferably three times the aforementioned size, will be required. A school around a market area is not advisable and is against educational counsel as noises around will distract students.
  • Cost and Dimension of Structure: It is also important to assess the cost of building the intended infrastructure. The cost will definitely depend on the size and quality of the structures which the intending proprietor desires to construct. It is advisable to engage the services of an Engineer and an Architect in this regard. The importance of purchasing building materials of the best quality cannot be over-emphasized.

Dimension of the buildings should equally be put up for consideration. The classrooms should be spacious, and reasonable space should also be created between buildings. This is to ensure a marked difference from what obtains in public schools.

  • Equipment: This has to do with the purchase, fixing and installation of chairs, tables, computers and (where required) television sets. The availability of such gadgets will attract parents to the school and will make it easier for them to part with their children’s school fees without grumbling, the rates notwithstanding. Water is equally essential, and to this extent, it is expedient to erect a borehole. It is also advisable to purchase one or more large and decent school buses, for the purpose of conveying children to and from school.
  • Financial and Legal Matters: It is important to secure the services of an accountant and a lawyer in this regard. The accountant needs to determine the budget and the start-up capital, while a lawyer is needed to take care of issues pertaining to incorporation, registration and tax. You can read about how to register your business name and steps on how to register and incorporate your business name.
  • Hiring/Recruitment: Of course, an intending proprietor has to hire qualified teachers and other key staff, preferably six months before opening day.
  • Publicity: It is absolutely necessary to advertise to potential students via their parents or guardians. Flyers, online promotions and media jingles would help. It won’t hurt if you engage websites and social media platforms to drive publicity.
  • Associations/Trade Unions: It is helpful for the intending proprietor of a private school to join state or national private school associations that would provide credibility and recognition.

There! That’s all about starting a private school in Nigeria and all the vital tips there is to know. All the best!

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