The respondent said business has been dull this last week. That people are not coming for checkups. The respondent runs a laboratory.
The respondent kept thanking me for the gift that was given to her last week and said she had a good income in the present week. During formalization, she said she has not registered her business yet as she is waiting to move her business to a better venue before she can do that.
My firm owner into footwear production looked excited with the firm’s increased patronage and capacity in meeting customer expectations thus far.
He disclosed having increased the number of shoe amendment jobs the past week and he indicated having made some deposits for his contribution towards gifting her sister a brand new refrigerator for her forthcoming wedding, in addition to anticipating more patronage in the days ahead.
The respondent said one of her teachers is getting married Friday and Saturday and afterward she will move to Lagos with her husband. She invited me to the wedding which is going to be held at Ebonyi. She also said she hired a French teacher through an agency, that the rate is high but she has to pay because it’s difficult to find a French teacher, and, that she pays N5000 (11.6 USD) for each day the teacher comes.
During formalization survey, she also said she has applied to the ministry of Education but has not gotten official approval because of her building. That her file is just there and they give her information but her approval will only be after she has a standard structure
The respondent said her mother is still at the hospital and booked for an operation tomorrow.
During formalization, she said that only her nursery school has been approved by the Ministry of Education that her primary is yet to be approved because the building doesn’t have enough space. That she already registered but will only be approved after she has gotten a bigger space. She said the survey has helped her give more attention to her financial record keeping which has in turn helped her management of the school
The respondent said he had a lot of work in November but had to do a lot of repairs and fixing for his machines so didn’t really make a lot of money even though the money came in. He also said during formalization that he doesn’t pay a lot of taxes and levies because one of the co-owners is into politics so helps him get a waiver, and he sometimes also gives them small money and they leave him alone.
During the special event, he said that although they have a security company in the plaza where his shop is located, he also has a cutlass for his security.
The respondent said this is her best time of the year because it is the season they make clothes and get money. She said she had to work Saturday and Sunday this week in order to deliver the work given to her within time.
She also said that she wants to register by next year. So she can apply for loans if need be. That she has not been able to apply for loans because of collateral and lack of registration.
She said she Never thought of registering the business before this project. The special event survey also opened her eyes to using the Internet for advertising her work.
The respondent said she didn’t even remember today is our reporting day and that she has a lot of clothes to make and trying to meet up. She said this survey has helped and improved her record-keeping to see how she spends money coming in.
The respondent said one of the advantages of the survey is that she got a phone and she also gives attention to her financial transactions more than before.
The respondent acquired a new car last week. When I probed further to know the source of income for the purchase of the vehicle, she told me that she got the money from her palm kernel oil processing business. According to her, it was also the money she saved from the palm kernel oil processing business that she used to start the piggery business which is the business for our research.
The respondent expressed her joy that the research has made her more serious in her financial record keeping. She said even though she was keeping records before, the research has made her more detailed and consistent in record keeping.
I almost forgot it was Christmas already until my visit to this firm.
Being the last term of the year, the school organized an end-of-the-year party featuring music, a singing competition, a dance competition, and an award and presentation of gifts to the best students in different classes.
The firm owner also informed me that burglars broke into the firm and searched everywhere to see if they will see the money but found nothing. This is the second time this is happening within a month.
The firm has closed for the year to open on January 4th.
This firm used to have 2 employees when we started but one of them resigned without reason and a few days ago the second one resigned also. He stopped work and called the firm owner to send him his salary.
According to the firm owner, he started the school as a way of giving back to society. He was doing it for free without collecting money. He moves around and organizes and teaches children who do not go to school. It all started from there, until people brought their children and he saw the need to rent an apartment because the numbers were increasing. A few years after getting his apartment, he was informed that the building has been sold out to a developer so he should quit. Things became tough for him he had to move into a constructed apartment where it use to be a view center for watching football matches.
Sadly the numerical strength has reduced to 15 students and sometimes parents don’t comply with paying their children’s fees. Currently, he hasn’t paid his rent.
My ever-cheerful and free-spirited respondent wasn’t cheerful today. During the special event survey, she complained of poor electricity supply in the past 2 weeks.
She uses an industrial machine in sewing clothes meaning that she depends on light to work effectively. Sadly in the past two weeks, she has spent about N10000 (23.2 USD) for fuel.
In my day’s first session, my respondent and Medical Director in her laboratory expressed her hope that as assured from the beginning of the study, she would have access to her data and be able to ascertain the general status of her nascent firm thus far. She expressed slight discontent at the time-consuming nature of the sessions while indicating it did encroach her busy work schedule like having to shelve some pending and bulky laboratory test analysis, just to make an undisturbed appearance today.
As seen from stock in consented pictures below, today was so hectic at this rice processing firm.
My respondent and firm manager talked about having deliberated with his Team on increasing the price of processing rice by 50% due to inflation and rising traffic, but having to abandon any such plans due to severe competition and their desire not to disappoint its teeming customers.
He reiterated his delight that the research has made the firm grow generally in its financial record keeping. As honest feedback, he reminded us that though the firm had been keeping records before, the research has made them more detailed and consistent in keeping their records.
He said that sadly, the firm had been served a quit notice for one of its factories while indicating that firm was lagging seriously in its new factory development and relocation plans, as its December target had fallen apart due to its now inflated budget.
This firm owner is into leather works, he produces shoes, slippers, sandals, etc. He told me today that his shop has been let out to another person and his rent will expire in May 2022 but he was lied to that the landlord wants to retire and move into the shop. So he plans on trying to get another shop and will give me an update when successful
At my session in this carpentry and furniture construction firm, my respondent lamented the fluid nature of prices of raw materials due to the festive season as the reason he is still wary of accepting jobs, being paid, and then exceeding expenditure, due to unpredictable inflation at the moment, thereby incurring losses; a case he cited was the medium density fibreboard (a highly used raw material) which had gained a whopping N1000 (2.3 USD) in price between yesterday and today.
He narrated some testimony, how he almost lost his daughter at midnight last week Friday. She had fallen ill and was taken to the pharmacy, diagnosed, and gotten prescribed drugs which she took the night’s dosage on empty stomach.
The firm owner said close to midnight, he intuitively went into her room and shockingly met her laying stiff. On trying to revive her already pale self, he raised an alarm, attracting the family next flat whose mum rushed in and ascertained it was a risky convulsion.
She had to administer kernel oil and onions as first aid before rushing her to the hospital where she was revived and treated.
As regards seeking and getting loans, the firm owner disclosed not having access to and being denied the few times he’s sought one, due to issues like not qualifying for loans as a producer instead of a secular trader, not having prescribed collateral, frustrating interest rates, and time-consuming bureaucracies.
On the whole, he indicated that business was better compared to last month, and before leaving, he took time to practically explain his improvised use of different types of cutting blades on his circular cutting machines, to manually make different shapes, rivets, and curves on different kinds of wooden and ceramic shapes; a painstaking process he undertook due to unavailability of requisite machines for operation.
This firm was established a few years ago. It specializes in producing sleep wears for both males and females (adults and children), and also produces scrunchy hairbands and veils.
A few months ago, the firm owner complained about the poor sales of her product because she felt sleep wears is not something an average Nigerian will want to buy with the hike in the general price of goods and services.
Two months ago, she decided to start advertising her products (business) on Instagram and she gave a 50% discount on sales on old stock only. From there she got more customers and more people placed their orders on size(s) of pajamas to produce for them.
To some extent, she’s happy with the way sales are picking up gradually.
Below are pictures of what she produces.
I always meet this respondent every Thursday and sometimes on Fridays if we couldn’t see the previous day. The first week of this month, during one of my meetings with him, I got a poor reception from him. His responses were monosyllabic. Coming to the financial transaction questions I asked I didn’t get a satisfactory response. Last week we met again and I informed him I was going to interview him again for the Formalization survey. He gave permission to go ahead and I got poor attention again.
I told him his recent participation and attention to most of my questions and even trying to explain to me about his transactions has not been good enough. It makes me feel like the information he’s giving me is incomplete. He apologized immediately and promised to do better subsequently and that he was having personal problems that’s why this was happening.
I visited the shop yesterday and today it was locked and while I was standing there filling Observation report survey, customers were trooping in and I couldn’t see any expression of disappointment as the shop was locked. I called the firm owner and he told me he travelled.
He has 3 employees, 2 are apprentices and have gone back to school while the paid employee is still with him. I discovered that anytime he travels his employee doesn’t come to work. Speaking with him this morning when I came to his shop he said I would have requested the record book from his employee and I told him the shop was locked.
Ibe Amaka Chinwe
The respondent is into tailoring and the sale of tailoring materials.
She has 2 shops annexed into one. While the walls of one shop are made of iron, the other shop was constructed with wood.
She revealed that at the close of work each day, they have to transfer all their machines from the wooden side to the metal side and lock it up for security reasons.
However, this continuous action of shifting the machines contributes to breakdown of her production machines and she hopes to save some money next year to change the wooden material to iron. Unfortunately, the landlord of the premises suddenly hiked the rent and she is torn and the more she delays the reconstruction, the higher the cost of the project.
Just a few months ago, the craftsman quoted N300,000 (692.3 USD) for the project and 2 months later, he said he will now do it for N350,000 (807 USD).
On visiting this firm into palm kernel oil production, I observed and asked why she operated without a shed in the open, to which the firm owner disclosed that with the original trader admitted back into space by their market union after some months out, she was been allotted that space by the tree for the production.
In the special events survey session, she disclosed a slight increase and decrease in the price of both raw materials and products in the past 2 weeks, to which she had to adjust to the market as always, while safely observing for ease of movement before trekking down to firm on sit at home days.
In the special events survey session at this furniture production firm today, my respondent disclosed an event within the reporting week of having agreed grudgingly to some furniture production contract with a client only to get to the market and discover the increased cost of raw materials. On analyzing the cost implication on his profits, he decided to inform the client about the situation and his new increased quotation for the job to which the client decided on suspending the contract for now.
On sit-at-home days, he first observed until movement restrictions were relaxed before visiting the firm and working quietly without any employee.
He described the firm as informal in the Formalization survey while joking that the advantage of staying informal is that it saves him hard-earned resources in form of taxes and levies that would likely be misused by corrupt government officials.
He indicated that though he desired to go formal, he felt no drawbacks to remaining informal at this level of his business, especially in the kind of hostile business environment he operated, as there are no direct benefits or incentives for going formal aside from paying more financial dues and taxes.
My respondent narrated the issue he had that his working machine was destroyed by an unknown person according to him. He said that he came into his shop in the morning one of his employees asked him if he knew where the drilling machine was but he said no he should go and check where they normally keep their working instrument so the employee went there to get it and he found out that some of the machines are destroyed and some are missing. That is how he found out that something is missing in the shop. He has to start buying the new stolen machine to be able to work.
The respondent said people who use POS to commit fraud are making their business less profitable as people are now scared of using POS to withdraw money so their accounts will not be drained afterward.
The respondent said she hasn’t formalised and has had no issues since she started running her business. She said business is going well. That she gets new customers every week and she is getting money this season.
The respondent said she doesn’t understand what is happening. She makes clothes for people and they will not come to collect it to give her her balance. The ones she has finished the owners won’t come for it but it is the ones she is yet to make that the owners will be calling and asking her for. She believes they will still come and pay her
The respondent said she is looking for somewhere to relocate her firm to because customers are complaining about the present location saying that they don’t have parking space. She used to have an M&E and IT person but couldn’t sustain the payment. She said she plans to add one staff by January who will be the IT guy and also advertise their business.
The respondent informed me that he paid his workers a “13th-month salary” (one-month extra salary ) as a way of motivating and appreciating them for their hard work and commitment throughout the whole year. He said he does this every Christmas since he started the business.
In the course of our interaction, I probed to know how the respondent has been working because the firm’s lister developed fault since last week. He said whenever he has work to do that he takes it to his friend’s workshop and use his lister to work but he usually gives the friend little amount from the money the customer paid.
So, I visited this firm some weeks back and he sadly informed me that his sister has been kidnapped and they were yet to call for ransom. While we were talking, he received a call that the kidnappers have requested for N20 million (46,152 USD) ransom. Upon visiting him last week, I asked about his sister and he told me she has been released after a N10 million (23,076 USD) ransom was paid.
Upon asking this respondent if she incurred any private expense the previous week, she sadly recounted how her brother was involved in an accident and how she had to cough up funds to settle the bills of the injured persons. It was an unplanned, unbudgeted, and unexpected cost for her.
This respondent has a shoe-making firm, he has been very consistent with his record keeping. He has 2 consistent apprentices, and one inconsistent apprentice, this one is inconsistent because he is still in secondary school.
I called him this morning asking him to remember to please go to his firm with his diary, cause he usually does the inputting of his data at home after the day’s work, but he said he hasn’t been at his firm since last week Friday. He said he will try to be at work tomorrow.
I wished him a quick recovery.
This respondent went to a bank when I first came so I had to go and come back. The respondent said that her employees closed for the year yesterday (20th) and she will close by the 24th, except someone brings her an emergency work. She said she still has completed work that the owners have not collected. She also said she has not paid for November because the money hasn’t fully come in for clothes made and that she will likely pay November and December together.
This respondent said she has been busy and has even started opening on Sundays just to meet up with the rush she has. During Special Event Survey, She said she has stopped collecting clothes since the first week of December so she doesn’t have any new customers. She said she is closing on the 24th and that she wants to rest this year. She also said her younger sister ran away from the house and they are still looking for her and if she is not found in 2 days she will have to go to Warri where her family stays.
One of her apprentices is sick and the respondent said she would have been helping her with sewing if she wasn’t sick. The respondent said she is looking for sharp work since the people she made clothes for don’t want to come and collect and that she is looking for those she will make and they pay before she starts making them and collect the clothes in a day interval. Those ones pay more.
Yesterday, I visited one of my respondents and it happens that he was not around so I called him to find out what happened to him so when I called him, he told me that he is in police custody and that he bought items that he didn’t know were stolen items on October 10th, that is when he bought the item. Since he bought the items he did not sell the item due to lack of customers. So last week some police came to his shop and arrested him for buying stolen items. He has to return all the item and also bail himself from the police custody.
I have to spend a good part of my day at the hospital most days because my mum is there and should undergo surgery for a brain tumor but they have moved it twice. Now they said it will be on the first week of January. I’m somehow relieved because now I can enjoy Christmas.
The respondent said new customers have been coming and she said that she denied them. She wants to finish making the clothes she has first. She has stopped paying contributions for the year but has yet to collect the ones she paid. She said she is planning an end-of-year party for her employees on the 23rd and that that’s the day they will close. Her husband was worried when she told him about the consultant visiting. She asked if she should be scared and I reassured her she has nothing to worry about.
This firm got affected by bird flu for some months. Now the latest update is another strain of the disease which is Newcastle disease and the firm owner has been spending much on drugs so as to sustain them all and reduce morbidity.
Production has reduced and income is reducing due to the bird flu ravage which impacted the firm negatively and customers are reducing. They are hopeful for a turnaround next year
The respondent said that by next year, he will consider practicing what he termed “Breed and Sell”, which means selling off the Pigs after feeding them for about 4 to 5 months and then purchasing more piglets and selling them again after 5 months. He believes that this practice is more profitable and less risky compared to the practice of keeping the pigs to be giving birth.
The respondent plans to relocate her farm to a different location next year where she can be separated from other farmers. She believes that staying separate from other farmers will enable her to put necessary measures in place to prevent the spread of swine flu disease in case of another outbreak next year
23 December 2021
In the workshop of this firm owner where he makes all his money, I noticed a new face in the firm some weeks ago. Then I asked the firm owner who the new guy was, and he said he just employed him that very day. Fast forward to a week later, on my visit the firm owner was not at the firm. I was able to ask the new employee some questions so as to input his details on FINBIT and he made me realize that he has been with the firm since October. That being said, I also noticed the new employee’s payment did not reflect on his FT. I called his attention to this last week and he promised to let It reflect on his FT.
This firm owner has been struggling for some months to get a full-time staff to help with the packaging of bread and getting them ready for sale. He partnered with one of his colleagues to get his own employees to work for him while they are less busy and he pays them a certain fee daily. This has helped him a little since his employees left his business, but he has two full employees who help with sales.
As observed and reported last week, this firm into palm kernel oil processing looks fully confined for now to the open space allotted to it, and on probing the firm owner again today, she disclosed being fine with the arrangement, especially this dry season, and intending to stay amicable as she had no intention of fighting the neighbor firm owner she had relinquished the factory shed to, as she had been very kind to her in her time in the business.
My respondent today jovially revealed she was exhausted with work this year and can’t wait to travel home tomorrow for the yuletide holidays and celebration