By Vera Wisdom-Bassey
The excruciating hardship resulting from the bad shape of the nation’s economy is terribly affecting many Nigerians. At the moment, not many presently can afford one, let alone three square meals a day. Survival in Nigeria today is very tough.
Worst hit are artisans and petty business operators. Many businesses have crumbled or dwindled to the extent that many have abandoned their original lines of business for new ones, in some cases to menial jobs, in a bid to make ends meet. Saturday Sun spoke with some people who are engaged in two jobs on how they are copying, and how they are surviving the hard times.
Adebowale Williams, a resident of Owode, Ogun State, lamented that since he was born he has never had it so tough in terms of providing basic needs for his family. He said in the last three years, he has had difficulty coping with life.
The man, who now sells ice cream on a bicycle, and also drives a commercial bus, explained that he resorted to the business as a last option after being unable to fix his commercial bus.
According to him, he has been operating a commercial bus but the bus developed a major engine fault as well as other issues which required much money to fix. Unable to afford the required money since he lost his000 job, he decided to go into hawking of ice cream.
He narrated that it has not been easy with him. He told Saturday Sun that he managed to purchase the bus some years ago with which he had been feeding his family until it developed the engine fault.
“It has not been easy,” he stated. Early morning, he will go out to drive the commercial bus and also at night, he would do the same thing. But in the daytime, he will sell his ice cream,” he informed.
Nsika Udom from Cross River State is a worker with one of the security firms in Lagos. He said: “For weeks, I had nothing to do, and the pressure from my family was much. So, I had to look for a security job. I applied for it and at the end of the day, I was engaged. But then you know how expensive everything is. At a time, I had no option than to start looking for another job because the money being paid is not enough.
“Providing for my family was becoming a problem. I am a man with a family. When it wasn’t possible to pay school fees again, I had to ask my kids to stop schooling before I die of pressure. I had never seen this kind of hardship in my life.
“What I then did was to take a second security job. When I close from one, I get a day-off, and I resume at the other job. Then when I close at the second job, I return to the first one. It is a one-day-on, one-day-off thing at both jobs. It has been a problem to my health but what can I do? I have to go ahead and do it, in order to pay my children school fees.”
Ngozi Okoro, who runs a provision store, said her stocks in the shop keep going down because of huge expenses she incurs as a result of high cost of basic needs. She said she has to get another job, which is a cleaning job.
The woman who has three children, said she no longer thinks about making any savings, but struggling to meet up with feeding herself and her kids. She said getting a job was good, but that coping with the job is not easy.
she said most times she closes at night from the shop and the next morning she is off to her cleaning job. She admitted that it has been telling on her health.