Money Making Machines: Part 2
Friends, don’t wallow in depression about the future! Here is another bright idea to consider as our breadwinner, oil, grieves a massive pay cut.
This is a nation of 180 million inhabitants with a growing middle class. So, there is an increasing number of parents who are seeking to saddle their children off to institutions. Why not start a school?
It would be easy to buy a house or building from the endless sea of civil servants – who have not been paid in months – that are selling off their properties for less than market value. You don’t have to wait for the hole in the floor to be fixed, for that bush full of snakes to be chopped or for the plumbing to work well – or at all – before the first session commences. Parents would see these petty inadequacies as discipline and rugged training for their children. If everything is sound and proper, children would grow up spoilt. However, after the first session and you decide to double the tuition fee, things would have to be finished up and you would need to acquire expensive-looking teaching equipment that no one knows how to use to impress potential clients.
Foreign! Foreign! Foreign! Everything you do must be anything but Nigerian. Speak with a foreign accent when engaging with parents – preferably British. The more convincing your accent, the more fees you can charge. By the way, you could always make clients pay in dollars because of its higher value and stability against the naira. May I share another secret with you? Putting the word ‘international’ in the name of your school propels its status by 200%.
What you teach them in this school doesn’t really matter. Nigerian parents don’t care much if their kids learn anything valuable, as long as they come home with an A or distinction. It is the certificate, not content, that we are concerned about here. So, begin to think about the side income that would come from parents for a pass or the extra they would donate for an A. If the rarer-than-Halley’s-comet inspector does show up and make a fuss, you could always slip something into their hands. They too must be struggling in these tough times.
Don’t have the capital to do any of this? Have you considered writing a textbook? Only God knows how much Ugo C. Ugo has made from selling us over 20-year-old past question papers that tell us Pluto is a planet. Again, no one cares about content.
If you own a church, capital is no problem at all. In fact, why not start a for-profit university as an extension of the business? Use financial support from your congregation to fund the construction of the campus and acquisition of other resources. Then charge an extortionate tuition fee so that even your church members can’t afford to send their children there. They won’t be annoyed. Everyone knows education is just for the rich.
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