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Recession woes: More women becoming breadwinners

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With the state of the economy, Nigerians are groaning under hardship as they can no longer meet up with family responsibilities. ENCOMIUM Weekly sampled opinion of breadwinners about how they are coping with the recession…

 

JOHNSON ADUME

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

I cannot say I am coping. Things are getting tougher, the poor are getting poorer. Government policies are no longer friendly. Everything is just somehow. Politicians are making more money and business owners are suffering. I am also a pastor, people don’t pay tithe again. We just need divine solution now in Nigeria. I can’t afford to feed my children three square meals a day any longer.

They eat pap in the morning, eba in the afternoon and we cook at night. That is how bad things are right now.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, it has not been increased. It has even reduced. People are being laid off in our office.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I used to give her N2,000 to make soup, maybe N1,000 now or nothing. We now share bills. Gone are the days I shouldered the bills all alone.

 

BOLU ADEWUNMI

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

Things are generally tough. I go to work in fear. We are always afraid in my office because we don’t know the next person to be laid off. Most of my colleagues are gone. I work with a bank. To make matters worse, my landlord increased our rent by N100,000. We have begged him but it all fell on deaf ears. If anything should happen to my job today, I am going back to the village. Only God can figure out what I will be doing there. I am looking for another accommodation, I cannot afford N450,000 per annum.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No form of increment whatever.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I don’t even have a specific amount I give her. It is what we have at that moment. Now, we eat whatever is available. I have taught my children to live without all those extravagance we used to give them.

 

ISAAC OLUWALOGBEMI

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

We are just in the hands of God. We are coping just like every other Nigerian. It has not been easy I must say but we don’t have a choice. I am trying to work extra hard but the more I try, the tougher things seem to become. My sister, it is well.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

It hasn’t been increased at all. We hope happy days will soon be here.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

Money for food and other important things can’t be reduced. In fact, I have to increase it to meet the market demands.

 

DANIEL

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

God is our sustaining factor. We have cut down our expenses at least to the barest minimum. We go for only what we need not what we want. We also prioritize our needs.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

My salary has not be increased, instead, there is backlog of salaries being owed. Employers are not willing to pay more because they are not earning more too. So, everybody tries to cope whichever way.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

Everything has changed and increased. We try to reach a compromise every time we prepare budget for the home. Though we spend double of what we used to spend on soup and every other thing. Everything is sacrifice. I try not to cut my wife’s personal budget because she is not working.

 

MUSA ALI

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

I am not coping at all. I can no longer meet up with my responsibilities as a man. It is my wife that is feeding our family. I couldn’t go to work because I don’t have money to transport myself. My wife had to send N1,000 to me at home before I could leave the house. She fuels the generator, makes soup for the house and all that. I don’t understand this country again.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, it has not been increased. All the extras from here and there have also been withdrawn.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I used to give her N3,000 before. I can’t even afford N1,000. It is my wife that is taking care of all the responsibilities now.

 

ADEJUMO

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

Things are no more the same in Nigeria. Everybody is just managing to live above board. Prices of things are too expensive. We only buy the few we can afford which is not sufficient to cater for the household.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

My salary has not been increased. I pray it should not be reduced.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I give her whatever I can afford. I used to give her up to N3,000. Most times, she just makes do with whatever she has.

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MADAM ADAMS

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

Things are no longer the same. I had two children with me. I had to cunningly send them back to the village. Even my son has gone to stay with his father. I am all alone and it is still not easy. I am thinking of relocating to the village as well. At times, I stay without food and drink garri alone since I am the only one at home. I am believing God that I will have money to pay for my rent.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, it has not been increased. I no longer get the small tips I used to get.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I am all alone by myself, nobody to give me anything again.

 

SALAMI

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

I cannot describe the state of things right now. I had to escape from the house yesterday. I told my wife I would transfer money to her account. I know I have nothing on me to transfer. I can’t explain how things are now. May God have mercy on Nigeria. May famine not visit out land. A lot of people are suffering. It was my younger brother abroad that paid my children’s school fees last term. Their fees were paid almost after their exams. We are just in the hands of God, really.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, I don’t think any company has the capacity to increase anyone’s salary at this moment.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I used to give either N3,000 or N2,000. I can no longer do that. It is really a sad case. My wife is in charge.

 

SAMUEL OLODIA

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

I have not collected salary for three months. So, I am not coping at all. I don’t even know how my wife is doing the magic. She is the one in charge. May God change the situation of this county. It is really a sad case. My prayer is that God should step in before it is too late.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

Our pay was reduced a couple of weeks back. We had a meeting with the management and we all concluded that instead of downsizing, they should slash the salary.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

Before, maybe N3,000, but now I don’t know how we manage to feed.

 

LAWRENCE SEGUN

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

I will give glory to God in heaven. Things are really hard. You can see, the economy is really affecting everybody. Things are really difficult, the country is very tough. People are losing their jobs and the government is not making the country conducive for the citizenry.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

Increased ke? No, they have not, rather they are looking for ways to reduce the salary. The most painful thing is, people in my office work with fear because every little mistake, they will sack the person without explanation. So, I am surviving by the mercies of God.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

When the going was good, I give her at least N5,000 everyday because I love fresh soup but now, if I even give her N2,000, she will be dancing. So, I had to learn how to eat soup that has stayed up to three days in the fridge. That is how bad the economy has turned.

 

EMEKA OSONDU

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

Things are really tough. As a family man, I try not to think about it because if I do, I will just kill myself. So, I take the day as it comes.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, it has not been increased and they are looking for ways to send people away.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

Before, I gave her N2,000, but now I give her N1,000. Sometimes N1,000 and other times nothing. I thank God I have a very understanding wife.

 

TUNDE SHOTOKUN

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

The economy is not helping matters at all. Even those in government are not helping the situation. Right now, people are living in fear. I went to cut my hair sometime and was surprised at the price. Even nylon bag is N20. I am not coping at all. This time is very hard and tough. Even the rich are complaining.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, my salary has not been increased. No one can even pray for increment when they are looking for every means to lay staffers off.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I give her any amount depending on my mood and what I want to eat but that was then. Since Sai Buhari got into power, I give her anything I have, sometimes nothing.

 

IKENNA NWOKOJI

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

I thank God first, but I cannot say I am coping with the economy because I live everyday in fear. I mean, fear of the unknown because you don’t know who is next. I work in a phone shop at Ikeja, Lagos and they have already sacked most of our staff, remaining few of us and even reduced our salary because there is no money to manage the business anymore. So, it has been from one wahala to another. I have children’s fees to pay by this term. I also have rent to pay. I am not coping at all.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

Increased? Didn’t you hear when I said they reduced our salaries with the option of if you cannot work, you leave.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I don’t have a particular amount I give my wife. If I have, I will give her and if I don’t, I will not kill myself.

 

TAYO IBIKUNLE

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

First, I will say God has been faithful to me and my family. Talking about coping, it has really been difficult. Everything in the country is now very expensive and everybody knows that but all the same, by the grace of God, I am coping.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, they have not increased my salary. Moreover, no employer will increase salaries with this economy. They are even looking for ways to sack their staff. That is why I keep latching on the grace of God. It is by His grace.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

I used to give her N10,000, so she could make stew and soup and buy some necessities for the house. But right now, I give her N5,000 to manage and sometimes I do the shopping.

 

SAMUEL DUROTOLA

Hard times are biting harder, how are you coping generally?

The economy is nothing to write home about. We all know that, but there is nothing we can do about it. If you decide to think about it, you might develop one sickness or the other. So, as for me, I take the day as I see it. I am a shop owner as you can see. All I do is pray for sales and I have reduced the rate at which I take transport. So, instead of Napep, I trek sometimes. I cannot afford extravagant lifestyle in this era that everything is expensive. Children’s school fees are there, my mom is in the village expecting me to send money, landlord house rent is there. So, I have to manage.

Has your salary been increased to enable you cope with the recession?

No, I pay myself salary but to be sincere, since last year, I have not stocked my shop. There are some provisions I can’t buy due to how expensive they are. I have to cut my coat according to my material.

How much do you give your wife to make soup before and now?

Normally, I give her N3,000, sometimes N5,000 if there is enough sales. But it is now N2,000 or N1,000 to manage.

-SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN and GLORY OSIGWE

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