“Respondents’ Stories Shared by the Field Team: 16 December 2021 – 31 December 2021”

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In my day’s first session, my respondent and Medical Director in her laboratory expressed her hope that as assured from 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 to grow generally in its financial record keeping. As an honest feedback, he reminded us that though firm had been keeping records before, the research has made them to be more detailed and consistent in keeping their records.

He said that sadly, firm had been served a quit notice for one of it’s factories, while indicating that firm was lagging seriously in its new factory development and relocation plans, as their December target had fallen apart due to its now inflated budget.

This firm is into leather works, he produces shoes slippers sandal 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 in to the shop. So he plans on trying to get another shop and will give me 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 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 #1000 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.
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, 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 few years ago, it specialises in producing sleep wears for both male and female (adults and children), also produces scruchy hairbands and veils.

Few months, 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 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 of sales on old stock only. From there she got more customers and more people placed their order on size(s) of pyjamas to produce for them.
To some extent, she’s happy with the way sales is picking up gradually.
Below are pictures of what she produces.


I always meet this respondent every Thursdays and sometimes on Fridays if we couldn’t see the previous day. First week of this month during one of my meetings with him I got poor reception from him. His responses were in monosyllabic. Coming to FT all the questions I asked I didn’t get satisfactory response. Last week we meet again and I informed I was going to interview him again ” Formalisation 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 are incomplete. He apologised immediately and promised to do better subsequently that he’s having personal problems that’s why.

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 expression of disappointment as the shop was locked. I called the firm owner 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 don’t come to work. Speaking with him this morning that I came to his shop yesterday he said I would have requested for the record book from his employee and I told him the shop was locked and even today.


The respondent is into tailoring and sale of tailoring materials.
She has 2 shops annexed into one. While the walls of one shop is made with 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 continous action of shifting the machines contribute to break down of her production machines and she hopes to save some money next year to change the wooden material iron. Unfortunately the landlord of the premises suddenly hiked the rent and she is torn in between and the more she delays with the reconstruction, the higher the cost of the project.
Just few months ago, the craftsman quoted 300,000 for the project and 2 months later, he said he will now do it for N350,000.


On visiting this firm into palm kernel oil production, I observed and asked why she operated without a shed in the open, to which 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 production.

In the special events survey session, she disclosed slight increase and decrease in 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 increased cost of raw materials. On analysing 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 client decided on suspending the contract for now.

On sit at home days, he first observed until movement restrictions were relaxed before visiting firm and working quietly without any employee.

He described 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 going formal, he felt no drawbacks for 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 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 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 is making their business less profitable as people are now sacred of using POS to withdraw money so their account will not be drained afterwards

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. That she will make clothes for people and they will not come to collect it to give her her balance. That 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. That she believes they will still come and pay her

The respondent said she is looking for somewhere to relocate her firm to that customers are complaining about the present location and that they don’t have parking space. That she used to have an M&E and IT person but couldn’t sustain the payment. 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 “13th month salary” ( one month extra salary ) as a way of motivating and appreciating them for their hardwork and commitment throughout the whole year. He said he does this towards 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.

NG 194
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 N20million ransom. Upon visiting him last week, I asked about his sister and he told me she has been released after a N10million ransom was paid

NG 155

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 out funds to settle the bills of the injured persons. It was an unplanned, unbudgeted and unexpected cost for her


Firm is 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.

Respondent went to bank when I first came so I had to gi and come back. The respondent said that her employees closed for the year yesterday (20th) and she will close by 24th except someone brings her an emergency work. Said she still has completed work that the owners have not collected. Also said she has not paid for November because the monies haven’t fully come in for clothes made. That she will likely pay November and December together.

The 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. Said she is closing on the 24th that she wants to rest this year. 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 apprentice is sick and respondent said she would have been helping her with sewing if she wasn’t sick. Respondent said she is looking for sharp sharp work since the people she made clothes for doesn’t want to come and collect 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. That those ones pay more.

Yesterday I visited one of my respondent 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 that he bought items that he didn’t know are 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 market. So last week some police came to his shop and arrest him for buying stolen items he have to return all the item and also bail him self from the police custody for buy stolen items.

I have to spend a good part of my day at the hospital most days because my mum is there and should undergo a surgery for brain tumor but they have moved it twice. Now they said it will be 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 no. That she wants to finish making the clothes she has first. Have stopped paying contribution for the year but yet to collect the one she paid. Said she is planning end of year party for her employees on 23rd. 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 with bird flu for some months , now the latest update is another strain of disease which is Newcastle disease and he’s been spending much on drugs so as to sustain them all and reduce morbidity

Production has reduced also income is reducing due to the bird flu ravage which impacted negatively and customers are reducing, they are hopeful for a turn around 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 purchase more piglets and sell 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 different location next year where she can be separate from other farmers. She believes that staying separate from other farmers will enable her put necessary measures in place to prevent spread of swine flu disease incase of another outbreak next year

[ Photo ] NG233
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 was new guy, 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 realise that he has been with the firm since October. That been said, i also noticed the new employee 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.

[ Photo ] NG454
This firm owner has been struggling for some months to get a full time staff to help with 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 helps 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 it and on probing firm owner again today, she disclosed being fine with the arrangement especially this dry season, and intend staying amicable as she had no intention of fighting neighbor firm owner she had relinquished 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 yuletide holidays and celebration

Hello Team,
So I had this very sad experience of being robbed by 2 good for nothing fellows by 11am on Saturday while I headed to the field for my scheduled session.

It all happened so fast in broad daylight, I was walking briskly from the bus stop down to firm area when they both sped and caught up with me.
One did match me from behind and immediately started shouting, while holding tight to my waist region.
While I tried wresting his tight grip off my trousers, the other guy had quickly made his way into my pocket and emptied it in a split.
That 1 experience wasn’t funny and I’m happy for the support from the Team and to be back online after all the stressful prococol especially of sim cards.