“Respondents’ Stories Shared by the Field Team: 17 November 2021 – 30 November 2021”

posted in: SFD Blogs - Nigeria | 0

NG 442.

Sharing some pictures on the firm’s environment.














So I gave this respondent her Tablet today after taking record of her financial transactions for the week, she was super excited and couldn’t get back work because of the excitement. She called every other business owners around her to come and see what L-IFT has given to her, when they all saw the Tablet, many said they want to be part of the SFD research.
To cut the story short, she ended up praying for me and ordered soft drinks for every shop owners around her. (she said “this one nah to take wash the new Tablet”). She said Debbie what can I use pay you for bringing L-IFT ‘s gift to me, I smiled and said, just continue being faithful and cooperative ma.


This respondent is into leather production. He told me he made about 8 pairs of slippers and sandals and sent goods by waybill for his customer and the transporters somehow lost it in transit. Now he has to either repay the person that made the order or make the slippers again for him. He said he already bought the materials to make the foot Wears again. I empathised with him


I’ve been struggling to meet up with this respondent for over a month now. I called several times on Tuesday and yesterday so as to meet up with her to do her past transactions and profile history no response from her and I couldn’t access her firm because visitors are not allowed near her firm, I asked her colleagues if she was seen around but they couldn’t confirm that.


Respondent has been quite receptive and co-operating with the survey, giving us her financial transactions, I had told her about the phone that L-IFT had promised to give respondents, to thank them for their time. So I gave her the phone yesterday, she said she never believed any organizations could be true to their promise, as many other individuals representing different organizations had come to her firm, but she turned them down even before they make their reasons known but she just liked me, the way I talked and still talking to her made and is still making her give me audience. Respondent was very grateful, she asked for how to reach L-IFT, she even asked if she could send a mail to send her appreciation. She was really thankful.


She got her L-IFT phone today and she was super excited and grateful. She sends her appreciation. She signed the phone agreement form.

He got L-IFT phone today and he was super excited and grateful. He sends his appreciation. He signed the phone agreement form.


Picture on firm’s environment

This firm is into fish processing and packing, i went to her firm and i met her employees very busy, she then complained that the constant rain in lagos since last week and this week distrupt their work as the factory was flooded, although she made this comment after. Her factory area is close to the river, apart from the fact that the land is owned by her husband, she reported that she choose that area for easy disposal of fish waste.














The respondent suspended one of his employees for negligence of duty that caused the firm some loses. According to him, he was away for 2 days and instructed the employee to manage the farm in his absence but the employee didn’t come to the farm for the 2 days he was away and didn’t also inform him. It was when he came back that he discovered that two of his pigs died the previous day without anyone knowing. For this reason, he suspended the employee from work for now.


I visited this respondent today for weekly reporting and he said he hasn’t had any big job lately. Said he has a job that he hopes comes in but the owner wants him to do the job with another welder and he is telling the owner to share the job such that one person fixes doors and the other protectors so that if there is an issue in future, it will be easy to identify whose fault it is but the person bringing the job insisted our respondent and the other welder will do it together. He said he hopes no issues come out

NG113 and NG143
My supervisor and I visited these neighbour firms in a cluster who are into palm kernel oil production yesterday and both firm owners couldn’t hide their excitement at receiving their phone tokens and expressed desire to continue with study to the end “in expectation of some technical assistance”.


My Supervisor and I met firm owner discussing in hush tones with neighbour firm owner about her family’s financial challenges and how it was affecting her output as her family’s bread winner.She however cut the discussion after we exchanged pleasantries.
Firm is into palm kernel oil production.

NG123 episode 5

I am sure you are already familiar with this code😂😂 Before i start I’ll want you to be the judge and jury of this firm. If we should keep her at this juncture🙄🙄🙄. Tuesdays are my meeting days with this firm and we are yet to set up her FINBIT account🤦‍♀ As i got to her office with my able supervisor she was in a meeting with her staff so we had to wait for her. She finally attended to us, first thing first was to ask her about her asset list which was pending as she had provided employee list last week. She told me the list was not ready🙆‍♂ I said ahh, i have been praying just as you suggested for me in our last meeting. The she retorted that she had compiled the list and given to her husband to apportion the cost as he was the one that helped her with purchasing and has the receipts💃💃 i was happy at least there is progress. Immediately, she just said that should be all for now till next week😳I said: Ahh, no, we need to take your special event survey and Financial and asset survey and at least set up your Account on FINBIT so we can start recording your FT. She said she even need to understand how we want to collect her FT. Then i explained to her that i would be recording every of her daily transactions which ill come to get from her at every weekly visit. Then she said “that won’t be possible, the best FT i can provide is an aggregate sum of my daily transactions which will amount to weekly income and weekly expenses” 😱. She said that is how she usually input her financials on her system from her record book and it won’t be easy for her to give us daily transactions. As she has a book for every aspect of the business income. Then i asked her if she can give me the books weekly and leave me with the burden of recording them daily on my FINBiT as it is required. She said she can only provide weekly aggregates. I didn’t know when i sighed heavily and said “I HAVE ENTERED ONE CHANCE” we both laughed. I needed to move on cos i didn’t want her decision to affect my work. I asked her to provide the different aspects of the business that generates income so i can set up her FINBIT but madam said not today that we should go to the special event survey. I just respected myself and asked her the questions and we ended our meeting for that day.

📍Please be the Judge👨‍🎓🧑‍🎓 Cos i don’t think she will provide all the necessary information we need as regards FTs and its specifications


This is the respondent that they lost foot wears he sent on waybill for a customer. On visiting him today he said he is hopeful to recover his loss from the lost waybill. Also said he may be unavailable for financial reporting next week as he will be travelling.


Respondent said that this week was OK for him in business and his expenses were not so much and they have entered season


On my last visit to this lovely woman’s firm, as i got to the front of the firm i noticed they were kind of busy plus i noticed a new face as well. They saw me and we exchanged pleasantries while they continued their work. I sat in the car for some minutes to allow them do their thing, after a while i went into the firm greeted them well and asked for their FTs, i was given the record book, we both looked into it and she explained the ones that might look tricky to me, i went back into the car to record on FINBIT without distracting them from work. Some minutes later the firm owner came to meet me to share some of her pains. She has this oldest apprentice who i appointed to keep the firm’s records but since three weeks ago she had enrolled into computer school hence she resume work in the afternoon. One of her other apprentice told her that the oldest apprentice has been the one discouraging all the new apprentices that comes for training. She will tell them that her boss doesn’t know how to sew clothes and that she is a bad person that most of the apprentices that comes to learn usually go elsewhere to complete their training🙊🙆‍♂ this makes the new trainees not to stay for two to three weeks before they stop coming even when they have not paid for their trainee. She was so hurt while discussing this with me that she almost shed a tear. She said with the way she treated the old apprentice with love and took her like her own sister that i should see the way she has been chasing her trainees away. She said if not for the other apprentice that told her about it she would not have known and because of the new apprentice that just indicated interest to avoid losing her again. The worse part is that this back biting apprentice has not completed her training fees and she is done with her training.. She almost shed a tear as she shared her experience. Then she said she knows what to do.


In the middle of our interview, the respondent received a call and his mood changed after the call. I asked him what happened and he told me how he has been finding it difficult to get a loan he applied for due to his inability to get a guarantor.
The 3 People who had promised to be his guarantors for the loan withdrew at the last minute including the person that called him while we were interacting. He felt disappointed because according to him, he had hoped to use the loan to purchase more livestocks which he will sell by next year Easter. He said he had to look for another person and prays he finds because he really needs the loan


I’ve been struggling to meet up with this firm owner for 6 weeks now if not more, always postponing and having emergencies. Eventually today I finally met her after several hours of waiting for her.
Then she told me she lost most of her birds 250 and sold off 150 due to the ongoing bird flu ravage, she bought lots of drugs to give the birds but it wasn’t helpful enough. She has laid off her 2 workers since she could no longer cope with payment. She has been told by State Government to keep her pen temporarily closed until February 2022. She asked for her own Phone/Tablet because 2 of her colleagues have received and they told her about it. She apologized for avoiding me all these while ,it was due to the trauma of the loss of her birds and she didn’t want to tell me over the phone except she told me physically. I assured her we are interested in knowing details about the loss which she just told me today and her firm in it’s entirety that it’s part of the challenges small firm owners are facing. This is the second firm that has now temporarily closed due to bird flu ravage.


Yesterday in our session at this firm into rice processing, firm owner disclosed their round the clock work in rallying funds to fix up newly acquired bigger factory space closeby for relocation so as to accommodate soaring patronage heading into the yuletide season. According to her, firm had to remove perished rice from store and dry in the sun on Saturday, to try salvaging some, thereby creating space to store product. It’s worth noting that the spoilt rice was actually abandoned in storage weeks ago by customer after process, having come in deteriorating shape, infested with weevils before process, with loss incurred by customer.



For this firm, a computer business center, I observed that firm had recorded a new intern who is on a 6-weeks software package training.Firm owner also disclosed increase in price of service like typing of documents from #100 to #150 which he said is subject to volume and negotiation, this due to increase in printing paper cost.


My respondent was insincere to me.😭😢 Our usual meeting day is every Tuesday. Since his employee left without stating if she’s resigning or not, it’s always hell getting to meet with him for FT and other interviews. Many times I have repeated visits. This firm does photocopying, printing, laminating, and typesetting and also sells religious and motivational books – in case you are looking for ways to confront your fears, there’s a motivation book for you.

How did he lie to me? He lied to me about ownership 😢😭😿. He told me the business is a conceived idea of him and his family. So as the head, he oversees the business. I went to his firm yesterday for our usual meeting and as we were talking how the past week has been, a young man probably in his early 40s walked in and took his seat in the office I usually meet with the respondent and I quietly asked ” Have you gotten a new employee “? and he said “He’s my boss”. And he continued, ” This is a church business and the building too is owned by the church so he came to know how I have been running the business and monitor the progress “

Me: 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

I had already projected the firm for dropping because of difficulties in getting the respondent’s attention. No wonder 🤔 whenever I ask him how much is remaining after expenses is always difficult for me to get exact amount. When I asked him, how do decide to fire a worker, he said this is church business and it’s not owned by one man, we don’t fire employee, we only give punishment maybe suspend you from some activities.

My respondent lied to me. 😒 He likes gist. 😭


During special event Survey with one of the respondents my FS and I visited yesterday, she told us how she has been battling with government taxation and in some cases double taxation as she has to pay to both the state and Federal agencies in some cases. She gave an example with paying tax to FIRS at the federal level and BIR at the state level. She went on to show us things she bought to submit to the health sector of Enugu South LGA by Wednesday being today with N5000. She said that’s how they keep coming. That about 5 different government agencies randomly come with thugs to harass them. That even after you have paid your official due they will still come asking for money and if you decline they will intimidate you and create a scene which scares customers away. sometimes it will be sanitation, some times ESWAMA (waste management) sometimes advertisement and signage people because of her school sign. That she spends a lot in sorting all that. With her permission I took pictures of the things she is to submit with N5000 on Wednesday and also the reminder note she pasted on her wall so she doesn’t forget to go
NB: The 5000 paid is for inconvenience for coming to her firm for fumigation meanwhile, they don’t come for the fumigation and she will still be the one to take the money to their office



This respondent has been meaning to go to the market for materials for a while now. On getting to her place yesterday she informed my FS and I that she finally bought the materials and have started selling them already. She said she bought 35 pieces of textiles for sale and her workers have already asked her to keep about 10 (30%) of those materials for them that they will pay her for them. She didn’t even seem bothered as she laughed over it. With her permission, we took pictures of the beautiful materials which were reserved for employees







Visited this respondent for scheduled weekly reporting and as it has been the past 2 weeks the place was buzzing with activity. When she finally had time for reporting, she said she is not surprised by the rush she is experiencing as this is her busiest time of the year. She said most days she doesn’t get to sit down from morning till she closes in the evening. Here are pictures of some of the feed she already made for her customers







I met firm owner and employee busy with production of leather footwear.
We had barely begun session when he lamented rising cost of raw materials. In his words, “we barely buy some raw materials and go back to purchase it at same rate even in same week “. I observed that employee who was sick hadn’t returned and on inquiring, I was informed he, an apprentice was back to school, curtailing his work and training days to Fridays and Saturdays only. On asking about savings goals during the special events survey, firm owner gladly relayed his family’s forthcoming wedding, disclosing his desire to gift his junior sister a washing machine as token on her wedding on the 28th of December. Below is colourful pictures from his work as he wouldn’t agree to facial inclusion.



This firm owner is into the business of sawmilling, resizing, cutting and shaping of wood in large quantities. He already delegated his manager since we started with his firm. Anytime there are survey questions his manager can’t answer that is when i book an appointment to see him, as he is always busy. He has about three to four workers and they have three different machines they use for sawmilling. They have a particular machine that when used for customers they use the money to cover for expenses incurred by the firm such as fuel and so on. The workers also use the money made from the use of the machine to take care of themselves as they are also still under training so to say. When I started recording their FT they already told me they don’t keep records for that particular machine and they gave me reasons. I now encouraged them to start keeping the records so we can also record their expenses. Well, they have started recording the income from that machine without disclosing the income they apportion for themselves😂😂 they told me that won’t be possible as they don’t want their boss to know what they make from that machine even though he has handed it over to them.


During the scheduled visit to the firm today with my supervisor, the respondent told us that she has not been able to purchase textile materials which she suppose to use and make clothes she will sell this Christmas. She stated that her bank placed restriction on her account because her brother sent her some amount of money into the account which the bank considered too much for such account. Upon her visit to the bank, she was asked to provide her national Identification number ( NIN ) which she did for more than 3 weeks now but the restriction has not been lifted. This has made it impossible for the respondent to withdraw her money and buy the textile materials she need. According to her, it will definitely affect her plans and business this Christmas period


Two of the firm’s apprentices completed their apprenticeship 2 weeks ago but because of their good behaviour and hardwork during their apprenticeship period, the firm retained them and they are now being paid according to the work they do for the firm pending when they will raise money to start their own business.


The respondent said that the promised phone has taken so long to arrive and that she has started losing hope. She said that the phone will boost her morale and encourage her to be more active in the research. The firm is among those selected to be dropped.


I visited this firm yesterday and I was fascinated by what I saw from one of the students who wants to study Architecture in the future. The young man belongs to Indomie Ambassador club so he decided to use the carton.

Every dream started small.









In my session with this firm, a business centre that’s been having a challenging time yesterday, the manager who is myrespondent disclosed having had to relieve an employee of her duties due to lower income and patronage, meaning she could not sustain her employment. She also lamented falling revenues and how she couldn’t keep up with opening Firm and staying idle without patronage at times even after so much advertisement.
I listened patiently with empathy, assuring her that all will be well.


The special events survey presented my respondent who’s into palm kernel oil production the opportunity as she narrated some conflict with her employee the past week. She had given employee instructions on how to go about production using the right ratio of materials, while she had stepped out to source raw materials. On returning later, she observed employee didn’t follow her instructions duly from the ongoing process. She wasn’t pleased and on scolding her, employee did raise her voice at firm owner and then a quarrel ensued briefly between both of them before issues were settled and production continued as she couldn’t afford to bring in further emotions especially with demanding work at stake😁.


This respondent is into confectionery. During our weekly reporting she complained that goods are quite costly in the market now and she is even contemplating adding money to her finished products but she is scared customers will run away. She said market is not as it used to be, that their daily income is dropping


During my last visit the respondent said she was busy so we couldn’t do the special events and employee by employer surveys. She also said EEDC cut their light saying they had some bills from estimated billing before they got prepaid meter and they need to come and discuss how to pay off the bills before they can restore their light. This is the respondent that runs a laboratory and was preparing for council visit sometime ago.


This respondent is one of the tailors in my list of respondents. On my last visit for reporting, she said she doesn’t know what is wrong with her this season. That she has been undercharging people. When she tells them price they will keep begging for a lower price and they are people she knows so she doesn’t know how to tell them no.


This respondent runs a school (crèche, nursery and primary). She had sometime told me they were looking for a loan and the place they usually get loans from said they are rounding off for the year and can’t give loans anymore until next year. On my last visit yesterday, she told me she and her husband are still looking for how to get loan to buy the land offered them at 1.5M so they can move in there by next year.


This respondent runs a photocopying firm also does POS services. He does not have employees anymore because he said they usually had one drama or the other, taking jobs from his customers, talking rudely to him and the very last one was being diabolic, dropping spiritual/prayer things in his shop. So to the reason for this story, when I do the observation survey for this firm, I usually put that “firm does not have contact information displayed”, because there was none.
He recently did the POS stand outside, he did the wood work himself as well.

So last week, while doing the survey, a neighbor of his came around and they were talking about their different firm’s banner around them, telling the other one not to pass his boundaries and all, after his neighbor left, I asked him this, “but Mr. …, where’s your own banner, don’t you have yours, he said he has, pointing opposite the road, I initially thought he was joking, until I stood up to check for myself, then I asked him how long the banner had been there, he said he had it there since, I asked why so far away from your firm? His neighbor-firms had their just around or in front of their firms, is there any particular reason you have yours that far away, he laughed and said he just preferred it there.



Two weeks ago when i got to this firm for our usual weekly visit, i had to interview the firm owner on Financial tools and asset survey. It was the same day i presented him the phone gift. He was really happy that he sent his prayers to LIFT. As i started the financial tools survey, it gave him the chance to open up on his financial struggles affecting his business. One of this is some of the business money getting stuck with his suppliers to the tune of N6million because of some government regulations on the movement of wood from other state. He said this affected his business and he needed some money to keep his business running and sourcing for stock from other suppliers. He said his wife introduced him to a cooperative group in their area which he got a loan of N1.5M from to support his business. He also shared other business ideas with me which he is looking to invest in once he has the capital. When he mentioned the loan he got from the cooperative, i quickly asked him the total sum and interest with the amount he has paid back as at that day and he provided those details as i needed to record them on FINBIT.


I got there on our last meeting and behold i saw the run away staff😳😳 He was busy with work as i approached him and asked why i have not been seeing him at work. He said he had an emergency call and he had to travel. At this time the firm owner had not arrived. I went in to wait for him. He got in after about 30mins. He was engaged with work as he got in, but i still squeezed out time to ask him the employer’s and employee survey. As i started with the questions he opened up to tell me how he felt about the run away employee. He said that particular employee knows his onion on the craft and he usually manage the work well when he is not available. That as it is, the employee is the one managing him because he likes him so much and when he came back he couldn’t punish him or tell him to leave because he needs his services so bad. He also said when he put a vacant post out he was not satisfied with the applicants that showed up. He also added that he wants the progress of his employees and he would appreciate if they cooperates with him by doing their own quota and communicate when they need to travel and not leave him helpless when they leave without notice. As regards recording of business activities he said he has told his staff not to take up that role again because he thinks maybe because he has access to the firm’s income it has gotten to his head and that’s why he is misbehaving not considering all the expenses that the business incurs for effectiveness. He promised to be keeping his records by himself and ask that we pardon him if sometimes it is not up to date but he will always update the records.


On my visit to the firm today, the respondent pleaded that his own phone be given to him since some respondents in the cluster have gotten theirs and I assured him that he will soon get it