By Emmanuel Udom
Mama Beatrice is a 48-year-old indigene of Benue State. She says she is fulfilled frying and selling akara and preparing ogi for her numerous customers that are growing daily.
“For 15 years, after arriving vesper bus-stop in Ifo, Ogun state, my husband, a security man, and I, an akara seller have successfully trained three of our five children out of tertiary institutions, and also built a house in Ifo”, she thundered when an area boy was trying to harass her for change of N100 after eating akara and taking ogi.Locations and demand and supply chain matters here.
Days later, our reporter arrived her selling point located along Ilupeju Street, opposite Shobande street in vesper, Ifo, disguised as a marketing staff with one of the many microfinance banks operating in the area.
Encouraged to open a savings account with our bank, the woman flayed up saying she has been humiliated a number of times by one of the microfinance banks in Ifo, when she delayed in the payment of the loans she obtained from the bank
Her “I now contribute N300 daily as contributions (esusu), with my friend who is running a paga business centre around here, and I am happy doing it instead of saving my money with banks and going through hell to either withdraw of obtain loans”.
Calculations reveal that N300 daily contribution, running Akaka business Monday to Saturday everyday translates to N86,000 every year. Do the calculations yourself.
Mama Beatrice from our findings has no time to keep records of her cash flows and said she was forced to go into the business when her husband lost his job while they were living at Ajegunle in Lagos.
But, Emeka Chukwudi, a primary school drop-out from Akwa in Anambra state, says he is a proud owner of five pharmaceutical stores in different parts of Lagos.
His words: “When I dropped out of school, I hustled real hard in Anambra and eventually arrived Lagos to continue the hustling until I became an apprentice in a pharmacy stores in Idumota for years before I regained my freedom”.
Today, my wife is a master’s degree holder and the one in charge of my accounts and book-keeping while I continue to hustle, even as I have two pharmacy graduates from the universities working for me and earning good salaries30m26768, Emeka disclosed.
Fact-check reveals that there is 41million micro, small and medium scale enterprises all over Nigeria with an estimated population of 203million people with 80% of them living below the poverty line.
These MSMEs are being regulated by the various government regulatory agencies, while microfinance bansks also regulated by the central bank of Nigeria and other government agencies, as well as its association, keep tap on the business and other activities of small and medium business owners.
Yet, the likes of Mama Beatrice may continue to boast about being fulfilled and happy running akara business. But, as far as Omoefe Osamwonyi, senior credit analyst, Lapo Microfinance Bank is concerned; the woman may not be able to grow her business because she has no records of cash flows and may not be able to see beyond her presence stagnant stage.
Mathew Adejugba, regional project manager, NPF Microfinance Bank says most micro, small and medium business owners run their businesses without deep knowledge of their lines and business as well as lacking in savings culture.