What is your income? A new list from the front of the cost of living problems, where the most affected people share their monthly expenses.
Name: Muyideen Olamilekan Friday
Functions: Self-employed commercial bus driver
They consist of: Wife Falilat (37) and children Faizan (9) and Mustaheen (6)
Lives in: Lagos, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous city and the country’s financial center. The couple lives in one bedroom on the ground floor with a separate bathroom in the central area.
Monthly income: He makes 364,000 naira ($823) from his driving – but after deducting the cost of renting a bus (140,000 naira or $316), fuel (84,000 naira or $190) and bus taxes (42,000 naira or $95), that comes to the balance. of 266,000 naira ($601) – he is left with 98,000 naira ($221). Median salary in Lagos 161,000 naira ($364).
Total household income per month: 98,000 naira ($221)
Everyone knows him by his last name: Jimoh. He is a familiar face in the upper Lagos where he lives and works. When Jimoh walks through the area where he lives, he usually wears his baseball cap, smiling and talking friendly to people who pass by. Even the agbero at the bus stop, the guys who toll the passing cars and are not known to be kind, raise their hands in greeting when they see Jimoh.
For many years Jimoh drove a keke, one of the yellow taxis that used to be ubiquitous in Lagos. He had his own car and because of his hard work he saved money to buy three more which he rented. Then in February 2020, the Lagos State Government announced a ban on kekes to improve road safety. Jimoh accidentally sold his three bikes and started again.
Undeterred, he took lessons to learn to drive. Jimoh now drives a minibus, known as a korope. His route takes him from a crowded bus stop under the Ikorodu Expressway, a major highway in Lagos, to a densely populated area about 10 kilometers away. Jimoh does not have a car and has to pay rent every day. to the owner. This means that they must make at least 5,000 naira ($11), about 50 passengers, before they can start receiving.
Last year, they increased the bus fare and now charge about 100 naira ($0.23) per person. However, it does not seem to be enough, he says. “The tins cut well in the market,” he says in pidgin: everything in the market is very expensive.
Before last year’s inflation – reaching a 17-year high of 20.8 percent in September – they may have tried to save money to finally buy a minibus. But now he doesn’t see the point.
Although Jimoh works 7 days a week from 7 am to 11 pm, his family cannot make ends meet and when he gets sick or the bus breaks down, he has to use his little money to travel.
Falilat, his wife, used to earn 1,000 naira (about $2) a day going door to door selling home-made millet porridge, but lately she is not feeling well. They think that nothing is too dangerous.
Economic problems are currently on Jimoh. That is why he is on the road and has little time to spend with his family. Taking care of the children is a constant concern for the couple. “I try not to worry. I think that’s what made my wife sick. But sometimes it is difficult to sleep at night,” says Jimoh.
When they are done, they do rental tours that are fast and well paid. This is where the client hires him as a driver with a passenger vehicle, usually a cargo carrier.
One day he hopes to go abroad – “anywhere but Nigeria” – to make a better life. He missed his wife, whom he calls his best friend, and his children, but he thinks that he can earn more money abroad and send money home so that his family can have a better future.
For one month, from September 20 to October 20, 2022, as part of a collaborative project, Jimoh tracked his family’s monthly spending with reporter Femke van Zeijl.
Here is the money that tested his family’s finances the most.