A 52-year-old Lagos commercial driver, Adams, busted into tears narrating how he has spent over two decades plying Ogba to Ojota route and is still poor.
In a conversation with NewsBreak after he pleaded anonymous, Adams, said he was a well known panel beater along Wemco road, Lagos State, but turned a commercial bus driver for his covetousness for money and eagerness to be rich.
He told NewsBreak he was doing well living the life he wanted because he made money daily but lavish it with the hope for another the next day. And today, he became so entangled with a lavish lifestyle that he can’t account for a saving.
“I was a Panel Beater”, (shakes his head and sips his drink), I was doing well. I had a shop where both private and commercial vehicles patronise me. My shop is on Wemco road. I wasn’t making millions but I took money home everyday and I enjoyed myself moderately but look at my life” he hit his right lap very hard.
“Everyone wants to make more money but I got carried away. It all started when a friend advised his uncle to invest money in transportation. After so much advice, he agreed and gave him about N500,000. He called me because he knows I’m knowledgeable about buying buses. So we both traveled to Cotonou. Then life was sweet and things were cheap. We bought the bus less than N500,000 repainted to Lagos commercial colour and obtained a registered number.
“After everything, we looked for a driver which happened to be one of my customers who often patronised but had no bus due to some reasons. He was happy and started working with the bus base on daily delivery. After three months, the bus started developing faults. Later I discovered the driver wasn’t managing it well and so times came up with excuses to avoid delivery payment. I then collected the bus from him and parked at my workshop while I searched for another driver.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any for three weeks. Then my friend came to my shop and said we can as well drive the bus to get more money. I asked him about our jobs, he said we can work half a day and then return to our shops.
“Accepting was the biggest mistake I made “he took a deep sigh then sipped his drink again.
“We started working . The first day we made money. I was the driver and he was the conductor. At one point we were so engrossed in transportation that we totally forgot our shops. And that’s why I remain poor because whenever we make money, we forget to spend prudently with the belief we get another tomorrow. I see money everyday but I don’t know how to save.”
For Adams, he claimed he had several times tried thrift popularly known as ‘Ajo’ but the thrift collector ended up running away with their money which made it more difficult.
He lamented he never liked the banking system because of the long queues and whenever he vouched to visit the bank to have his money saved, he got discouraged by the long queue.
When NewsBreak engaged a Lagos based banker, Funmi Oluwaseyi, who gave detailed explanation on savings plans for business owners in Adams’ shoe, she revealed the microfinance banks ensure Nigerians have a good savings.
She said: Actually microfinance banks do such thrift can and claim their money anytime but they need to notify the bank ahead of time. An account has to be opened with them and they can come and collect it from them at their parks or shop. The only thing is sometimes they can only have access to the money after a year. But if it’s urgent then the bank can be notified. There is always interest on the money saved at the end of the year. Alot of people still believe in local thrifts but they need to turn to the bank.”