A report by Vanguard has detailed how artisans are the latest scarce commodity in town because the majority of them have joined the Point of Sale (PoS) business.
POS businesses make money by collecting a commission for the services they offer. This is an average of N100- 500 per transaction, depending on the amount of money involved and the type of transaction.
Operators can collect cash from customers and pay it into any bank account by initiating a transfer. Nearly every corner on the streets now has a PoS stand.
“However, the reason is not far-fetched. The economy is telling, and there is no commensurable earning power to cushion the effects.
“Average Nigerians are living from hand to mouth. Earnings hardly put food on the table, so there is not enough to spend on damaged household properties. Those who can afford to pay peanuts and artisans hardly make enough to keep their families.
“For them, the escape route appears as the popular POS business.
It costs very little to establish but appears to be lucrative in terms of steady returns,” the report noted.
A POS Agent at the Egbeda-Akowonjo Lagos, Mrs Teju Olaniran, confessed that life was getting frustrating as a hairdresser until she was introduced to the POS business.
She said: “In those days, I could barely meet my monthly rent of N13,000 and life was frustrating.
“But now, I am happy with what I do. It is not easy though, moving from one place to another shouting under the sun and rain, but it is worth it.
“Few years back, as a hairdresser, people booked appointments for me to do their hair. I might not even open the shop for a week, yet at the end of the day, I would still not be able to feed my family. the bulk of the money they’ll spend goes to hair attachments and other accessories. When it comes to labour, they pay peanuts and expect you to understand.
“But as the years passed, things were becoming difficult. Rents increased, food items rose arbitrarily, bills among other things. I knew immediately it was time to swim or sink. But, today, I am a bit comfortable. The Lord is good.
“In a day I perform close to 20 transactions and I am glad I made that decision to convert.”
Mr Samuel Ogidan, a panel beater, said he was sent away from the site he used for his job when he couldn’t meet up with rent payments and feed his family as most of his customers have abandoned their vehicles at home due to the fuel subsidy removal while some had sold their cars and moved to do other businesses.
“A friend informed me about the PoS agent business and helped me get a PoS terminal.
“When I started, it was a bit difficult because there was a lot of competition. We were up to ten agents here on the roadside
“I decided to go into big markets in the afternoons and go home in the evenings to rest. I had to abandon my profession when I discovered I could make up to N15, 000 a day from the PoS business.
“I thank God I took that step. There is nothing for artisans anymore as food and money are the basic necessities of every family; other things are just liabilities,” he said.
Mrs Chikodi Nwanchukwu discovered that accessing the services of an artisan is now difficult as the few left are in one way or the order is not available, and when they are, they charge high service fees.
“The rate at which artisans are leaving their professions is worrying. Soon, we’ll be doing most of these jobs ourselves.
“The few available are nowhere to be found. When they are available, the fees they charge you will make you postpone the job.
“Last week my Television set faulted with the screen which wasn’t clear. When I called our repairer, he said he is not available.
“A friend had to refer me to one who lives miles away from my house. When I heard the amount of the fee he wanted to charge, I told him I would contact him when I had the money.
“I just told my husband we will forgo the repair till we find an affordable service.
“I searched till now, but I couldn’t find any. I heard some of them are going into PoS agent businesses. Why won’t they? The economy is not smiling at all. Everybody is now on the same level.”
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