It was an unpleasant experience yesterday in Kaduna, while on the field to see these three firms all located in the same cluster (Map), hardly had I started my day’s responsibilities when news of pandemonium broke out. The town has been tension soaked since last weekend when suspected terrorists raided the Airport, Kaduna/ Abuja express road, and train station with hostile intent, trying to find out the problem was difficult as everyone seem confused and terrified. I found out later that a locally made explosive (Bomb)was discovered in a part of Town not too far from where I was, this news almost ruined the business activities of the day. The Police made some arrests and defused some explosives. Normalcy returned later and all businesses kicked up as usual. Safety and Vigilance are of the essence in the days ahead. Stay Sharp everyone.
Today I visited this firm but the firm owner was not really in good mood and she started complaining that the business is not moving and now that is the fasting period she doesn’t know how the business will be this time.
I was very happy when I spoke to the respondent. For the first time since we started the study, he got a contract of 50k naira. I was very happy to see the excitement on his face.
The respondent was unhappy about the inconsistency of the power supply. Said it’s reducing her level of productivity since she majorly uses an electric machine for sewing
The respondent said they were supposed to close this weekend and had tailored her schedule to fit. Even finished exams only to be told that schools will now close next weekend. That she will stay open till then just to avoid issues with the regulatory body.
The respondent complained that their light is unstable. That the number of hours they have light in a day has greatly reduced and that has affected her income from weaving as most customers will not agree to pay for gen so she will use gen for the weaving therefore she keeps waiting for the light to come.
The respondent on my last visit said she now has teachers for all her classes. That they also started exams last week.
Respondent was happy that she has been able to offset two months’ rent for the year where she is living. She is hopeful to complete the payment up to the present month before the end of Easter
The respondent got new applicants for an apprentice but she didn’t take them because she is seriously considering stopping sewing. That they wanted longer than 6 months and she is planning on staying in this business max the end of the year and then switching fully to the sale of fabrics and tailoring materials with weaving. She, therefore, referred them to her friend that sews since they wanted 2 years.
The respondent said business hasn’t been going well for him in the last two weeks and that is unusual for this period given that Easter is around the corner. That he doesn’t know if it’s the economic situation of the country that’s stopping people from patronizing him.
The respondent said she mistakenly transferred 10000 twice to the same person and is trying to retrieve the money back as the person is denying receiving the money twice and is no longer picking up her calls.
The respondent said one of her teachers delivered a baby girl today so she was happy about it. She also said one of her teachers has gotten two strikes already and once she gets the third one she will be fired.
At this rice processing facility, my respondent discussed constraints due to surging operating costs, implying that even the recent 50% increase in the firm’s service charge was not as lucrative as expected while expressing relief at compliance by customers after initial resistance to price increment.
She disclosed having recent difficulty in securing some much-needed low-interest credit facilities which she blamed on inadequate collateral.
This firm is into fish preservation, when I got to her firm today, I observed there was no activity going on, so i asked the respondent what happened and she explained that they had to pause production because of the unavailability of fish and the ones available are so expensive.
This respondent is into carpentry work I visited his firm today for the usual weekly interview and when I got there he was very happy that he could not let me sit he started showing me the working machines that he bought. According to him, these machines have been his major problem in his firm. Previously, if the need for these machines arises, he will have to go to any of his colleagues to use their machines but today he is very happy that he bought his own.
During one of our interactions, this respondent identified acquiring a weaving machine as one of the things that will attract more customers to the firm. This was because non of her competitors in the area has such a machine and she believed that acquiring a weaving machine will put her firm ahead of her competitors.
This business goal was recently achieved as she purchased her dream weaving machine. She is now faced with another challenge of looking for another location that will be more spacious as the current place is now too small for her business.
In our interview session yesterday at this leather goods production firm yesterday, my respondent disclosed difficulty in moving forward with his business expansion plans thus far, indicating that his search for a location of a second shop to further production has yielded no positives thus far.
The presence of my supervisor encouraged him to plead more for material assistance, as he bared his plans of mentoring more young people in the if his facility was strengthened as the dairies progressed.
My supervisor helped defuse his expectation by reminding him again of the data-building, gaps, and fact-finding nature of the research project as the most important step towards strengthening small firms yet.
He hasn’t paid utility bills this year because his office has been disconnected and he isn’t willing to get reconnected. He was busy with production too.
He is having issues with his landlord and he plans to get another office space so he was upset about the situation and decided not to reconnect he prefers using his generator
This respondent got a new industrial weaving machine which is an additional asset to her business. But then, she complained that her shop is no longer spacious ever since she brought in the new machine because she has a lot of apprentices and other machines. So she said she’s planning to either expand the shop(that’s if the landlord will consent to that)or look for a shop in another location.
She also told me that the frequent use of generators to power her machines has not been helpful to her business these days because it reduces her profit and this is a result of poor electricity supply.
The persistent complaint about poor electricity supply is worrisome and almost becoming a cliche.
Businesses that rely on public supply are having difficult times lately hence this issue cannot be overemphasized.
This firm is into grain milling they get paid in kind i.e the grain chaff is the mode of payment for his services. He in turn sells the grain chaff to make money. The grain chaff is mainly used for livestock feeding and it is in high demand.
Lately, the firm owner is having a hard time meeting the ever-growing customers’ demands due to erratic electricity supply.
It’s so bad that he had to switch off his phone at some point to evade the calls from unsatisfied customers. This situation is affecting his business/finances.
I met this respondent’s wife at the firm today, and he gladly introduced me to her. We exchanged greetings. He said she came around because schools are on holiday. She owns a school not so far from their house and the school is doing pretty well too.
I Visited my respondent who is in Carpentry for the normal weekly interview on reaching his firm I met his absence. For background info, his father is also a carpenter. The father narrated the issue my respondent has with the owner of the shop where the son works. That the owner sold the firm without telling him which cause a serious fight between them. When I meet with my respondent he told me that the firm owner sold the shop without telling him and all this while he have been sending money every month to the firm owner since he left town but now that he wants to sell the shop he did not ask him and sold the shop. He said that the firm owner said if he want the shop he will pay him one million Naira (2,276 USD). So that was how they started fighting.
The respondent was downcast today. He lost 676 birds from the 1500 new birds he bought several weeks ago due to vaccination issues. Low-quality vaccine was sold to his firm, which in turn caused the loss of birds. He told me for the first time this loss got at him and he landed at the hospital on Monday but now feels better. I met him at his firm today.
This is the third occurrence of losses at his firm. I feel so down about it. He’s improving and enlarging the business but this loss is becoming unbearable for him.
Remember the firm owner whose store was burgled sometime last year? During one of my visits, he shared the experience he had with some of his customers whose items were stolen because he had to refund them. Some of them told him not to worry, while some insist on getting the worth of their items. Some were expensive and he had to reach an agreement with the customer to pay them back in installments. That act of refunding the customers made some of those customers trust him more by bringing in more jobs and also referring customers to him. He mentioned that the event has in a way set the firm back, as he doesn’t have too much to save from sales made and he is also scared to continue with the renovation of his firm as he thought that was what attracted the burglar at first. He summoned the courage to continue the renovation after I encouraged him.