How Is Coronavirus Affecting Businesses? – We Asked 5 Nigerians

March 24, 2020

A lot has changed in the world in recent times and that’s putting it mildly. From the way we worship to social interactions and even how we work.

However, in Nigeria, we seem to be in a peculiar position. On one hand, we can’t afford to fully self-isolate and on the other hand, some parts of the country believe this is Government propaganda to steal money.

To better understand the reality on the ground, we decided to take a look at businesses across different walks of life to understand how Covid-19 is affecting Nigerians. We asked 5 different people ranging from employees to employers how their life has changed.

Demola – 28.

“I work in a community pharmacy and we can’t afford to close down because people on life-long medications (Anti-diabetics, Anti-hypertensives) depend on us. But, my boss is not paying hazard fee. So, I am my own protector. I sanitize anyone that comes into the Pharmacy, I put the money in a carton and sanitize it before dropping it in our safe. The only good part is that because of the increase in demand for immune-boosting medicine, we have met the target for the month. The other day, someone bought N150k worth of Cellgevity and Reload and she didn’t flinch. So, I can’t complain too much.”

Jennifer – 24.

My office has issued a work from home policy for all of us. We are a non-profit and we already have funding for the next 2 years so we are covered. I am worried about two things. Firstly, people who can’t afford to work from home and risk exposure by going out every day. Secondly, our clients that we currently run some projects for and how long they have before they shut down and we have nothing to do for them. If this happens, it may be difficult to renew our funding once two years is over. It’s just a cluster fuck.

Lanre – 55.

“I run a private practice and I have been doing this for the past 25 years give or take. I have seen a decline in this practice from very profitable to mildly profitable and just struggling. See, before now, I have been struggling to pay staff salary and I have a small staff of just 6 nurses. I am the only doctor on the ground. So, if I have been struggling without this pandemic, what will happen now that it’s here?

Everyone is saying shut down! shut down! shut down and do what? Shut down and go to die? My kids are also struggling so where will I get money to survive? I am a doctor oh and things are hitting me this hard. A part of me actually hopes that this will pass over because I can’t even think of where to start from.”

Akeem – 25.

“The truth is that na me fuck up. I had been told not to depend on only one supplier and I didn’t listen. So, I import things from China to sell for some profit here. The truth is that I ran out of stock in December of last year and because of New Year break and all, I couldn’t get supplies. Then Corona came along and compounded to the whole thing. Let’s just say my own 2020 hasn’t started. I am still in 2019.”

Chisom – 29.

“Man. This thing needs to go so my clients can come back. I book and tutor people for the IELTS exam. Anytime I remind me them about the payment they tell me that “the world is ending so there’s no need for them to take the IELTS” again. Before during the rush, my weekends were occupied with tutoring people. Now, I have enough time to do Instagram self-isolation challenges.”

Hassan Yahaya

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