Official registration of businesses in Nigeria with CAC comes with a lot of stress. One of the processes is that you submit about 3 business names for your firm search and if there is no corresponding name (s) of businesses within your area it may be approved and you’re good to go. Every name submission from the firm comes with a charge this means that if the names submitted for approval with CAC are rejected 100 times you keep paying so far you want your business to be registered.
For unregistered firms who gave themselves business names before attempting CAC registration, it is more likely that the names will change.
This firm discussed with me they needed a separate bank account for their business and the bank requested a CAC registration.
The firm owner (s) complained about how they submitted names and they were rejected and they kept paying, but finally, on Friday last week, one of the names they submitted was approved. They are happy about this and hope to open an account for the business before resuming a new session.
This is one of my committed respondents, she is always available to provide survey answers and FTs on a weekly basis even when she is busy. I shared the challenges she’s having with her employees some weeks ago. When we visited her yesterday with our able project manager Mekdes she attended to us as usual but she was looking so unhappy that Mekdes had to ask if she was usually looking unhappy every time I visit. I replied to the PM saying that she must be unhappy because her employees are not showing up at work and it’s not easy working alone. As we were leaving I approached her and told her what the PM noticed. Then she opened up that she was not happy with the way one of her senior apprentices disappointed her. That she called her last week and she said she will be at work yesterday but to her surprise, she didn’t meet her or she is yet to resume work. Yesterday was the Tailors Association meeting but she can’t go because there was no one to stay in the firm. She also said if a member of the association mark absent three times that the committee of the meeting will come to the firm to seize their working machine and she will be unable to work. She said that was why she was worried as she didn’t know what to do. In conclusion, the PM probed her on her personal expenses which she mostly doesn’t disclose when I ask her. She gave an estimate of her daily personal expenses which I recorded on my FT.
On my regular visit to this firm yesterday, thankfully the firm owner met me there, and as I was about to ask him to give me an audience to administer some pending surveys, he was fast to tell me that he would be leaving the firm soon. Before he got in, I and his employees were just having a chit-chat as they have gotten used to my visit. Then I noticed one of them was absent and asked after him, one of them responded that the firm owner suspended him over the weekend. Then I asked Mr. Firm owner what happened, he opened up explaining that that particular employee had a nonchalant attitude which he has complained severally to him but he refused to change. He said he gives him the time to go for prayers at intervals yet he abuses the opportunity by spending extra hours, claiming he went for prayers. He said he couldn’t take it anymore so he just suspended him till further notice but it would eventually mean dismissing him in the long run.
Prior to yesterday’s visit, I remember the firm owner told me about employing one of his old employees on a contract basis. This employee has gone to start up his own firm like ten years ago but they still kept in touch. The contract entails that he will come into the store and take several shoes that need repairs to his workshop to repair them and return them once he completes the repair. The firm owner said they agreed on paying him the sum of N50,000 monthly. Yesterday he notified me that he paid him half of his contract fees over the weekend and by the end of the month he will pay him the balance.
I am glad to announce that this firm has finally resumed its operation since it was temporarily closed. She got a new employee, has done some renovations, and stocked up livestock, all these were possible with the aid of a loan she got so as to recover due to the dastardly event of avian influenza that happened last year. Necessary financial transactions got well detailed so expenses only for now.
When I got to this firm today, I observed the firm owner was not happy, she explained to me that her employee gave her a week’s notice and left last Saturday, it was painful because this employee has been with her over time and he has been reliable.
When I got there on the 5th of July, I observed they are not working and the generator was not on, the respondent explained that her landlord passed on yesterday evening so they are not working today just to honor him.
When I got to this firm today I observed a new direct image machine, my respondent explained that she bought another machine because the one she was using was faulty and she will spend up to 150,000 naira to repair, so she thought of getting a new one first, then repair the faulty one later.
It is safe to say this firm has not exactly been lucky in getting trustworthy employee(s).
After the last employee stole her money and also collected money using the name of the firm owner to collect money from a POS agent close to the firm and disappeared.
The employee before the last stopped coming after asking for advance payment.
The above amongst others have been her experiences with her employees.
This time, she got an employee that seemingly looks innocent and religious and she was glad her worries were over until she started noticing that all of a sudden, the new employee that didn’t use to spend money on sweet-toothed things started buying a lot of different things to eat, satisfying her cravings.
So that made her start observing her closely. According to my respondent, she said she had N200 in her money safe before her employee offered a service of N200 to a customer, then she said added the N200 she made to the one to the safe, but when the firm owner checked, it was only N200 she found there, meanwhile, it was supposed to be N400, but employee insisted that she has no idea of how.
That increased her suspicions and she said she will continue to monitor her employee closely.
I saw an act of collaboration between two firms that produce feeds. Actually, this is how they dry their feeds in the rainy season. The firm producing this feed has not gotten a dryer yet and is using that of another firm to dry their feeds. The firm that has this dryer experienced theft earlier this year where most of her machines were stolen and has not recovered ever since. So this dryer has not been in use by her for a while because she produces outside the firm. I was happy to see this actually as we just did the second round of the competition survey.
Both my supervisor and I had a very enlightening session with my respondent, a medical director at her laboratory on Friday, as she was very open about her thoughts regarding especially the end of survey questions.
She disclosed her appreciation for the detail of the diaries project adding that though she felt wearied participating in the time-consuming sessions sometimes, it made more sense as she looked back, especially as impacting her young business in the area of always noting tiny details in running the business and seeking areas to work or improve upon.
She ended up with a changed outlook to record keeping as evident in the firm’s detailed records.
Her worst event in the diaries year as she narrated, was her then and only employee abandoning her role immediately after being paid her December 2021 salary before Christmas. Respondent was shocked and so sad especially considering her busy schedule with personal concerns at that period. She added that having to run the firm all alone in January 2022 was really draining for her.
She also relayed her recent experience with faulty autoclave and incubating machines which were bought brand new, have barely lasted 1-year, and with constant issues which worry her much.
She also took some time to explain her expansion plans by selling bigger business and organization clients to subscribe to the firm’s new health management program as soon as possible.
On a jovial note, she reminded us that notwithstanding the nature of the study as explained, she was expecting something worthwhile from The study as she hardly believes an organization like ours has no immediate plan to alleviate any of our challenges
She also helped reach the firm’s minor supplier on the phone as promised, as I conducted the supplier survey.
Thankfully, the interview session lasted a long round as the respondent had scheduled a more convenient hour for the session.
The respondent disclosed progress the firm had made in starting off a branch of a rice processing factory inside a major village market last week due to severe competition recently, and how the firm weathered the challenges of added logistics expense to sort these issues.
The firm owner into leather goods production talked about how challenging the past week has been running the firm alone.
According to him, he currently can’t afford a salaried employee, reason he was still looking at another apprentice employee.
He used the opportunity of the End of survey session to solicit some form of assistance as according to him, he wouldn’t stay on the diaries answering questions all year without expecting some assistance at the end.
This firm started this fish farming some months ago and was excited to see the fish growing well. The respondent said she has about 2k tilapia fish and some catfish
The firm owner complains that he does not have patronage and he links it up to his firm being upstairs.
He said his employees have told him that a competitor that stays down the same street but has his shop downstairs receives a lot of orders and sometimes even rejects some, because he had collected enough that he can work on, meanwhile, my respondent said he is the one who goes out by himself to his customers to ask them for their clothes or even calls them on phone and has to deliver back to them after rendering the services.
He says he is trying to have another walk-in shop downstairs so that he can boost his business.
He mentioned that his current location only has a maximum of 5 walk-in customers in a month and that is too poor and that he only makes money if he goes to his customers.
The firm says he wants to expand his business and include a secondary school, even if it will be just junior classes (Junior Secondary 1-3). He said he has printed out fliers and employed more hands. He says he is trusting God that when school resumes for a new session, the secondary school will run as well.
The firm owner who had been away and busy handling his other business eventually came around and asked to see the transactions his employee had been giving me, turned out his manager had been under-reporting, so he asked that his transactions should please be updated, including his assets.
On my most recent visit to this skincare firm, the firm owner mentioned that she really wants to apply for upgrade classes in her field so that she can improve her skills and grow her business in the long run.
She mentioned that her apprentice who paid to learn the skincare skill has not been very attentive, and resumes whenever she wants. Although she told the firm owner that she works somewhere but just needs to learn the skincare business.
The firm owner said she is rude to her customers and not exactly willing to learn.
The firm owner who lost his wife 2 months ago and has since buried her complained that his employee resigned from his firm after a misunderstanding. He said the employee lost her phone and was really sad but just managed to put up with work, then at some point, she asked him for his phone, that she needed to do something on it, but he declined and told her to exercise some patience as they were almost done with the task at hand, he said she just stood up, gave him his firm’s keys, told him she was no longer interested and she left.
I later called this employee on phone, since I have a good relationship with her and she said her former boss was self-centered and that she begged him to use his phone to block her bank accounts so that hackers won’t have access to steal her money but he refused and wanted them to finish the work they had at hand, and she didn’t want to risk wasting time, so she went and used someone else’s phone in another firm to do it and she counted her losses and felt she had lost more things there, she mentioned that her bag had been stolen there, that one time she was almost raped by shoplifters who saw that she was the only one at the firm at that time and had entered a bus where she was also rubbed/stolen from, so she decided to quit at once.
The firm owner felt bad that she left when she did as he was still mourning the demise of his wife.
The firm owner said her apprentice had returned, she had initially said she prefers doing business without them since business has not been as rosy as it used to consider her location and how some apprentices can destroy her equipment, but the apprentice’s mother begged her and promised her son will be on his best behavior.