Have you ever wondered what it means to be poor and lacking nobody to help? Have you ever wondered why many people resort to street begging and hence depend on the goodwill of strangers for daily sustenance?
Have you ever wondered how the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affected the fortunes of street beggars?
The answers to these questions are provided by 35-year-old Abdullahi Salua, who has depended on street begging for the past 15 years for his daily bread.
And who knows, you may be moved by his plea for assistance to overcome the poverty that pushed him into street begging.
What is your name and your state of origin?
My name is Abdullahi Salua, I’m 35 years old. I am from Sokoto State.
Are you married?, If yes, how many children do you have?
Yes, I am married, I have two children, a boy and a girl.
What is the reaction of your family members when you took to begging ?
My family don’t know what I do. They are far away in Sokoto State. All they know is that I send money to them regularly and go and visit them once in a while.
Why did you take to this business?
As you can see I am disabled. I cannot walk appropriately. in addition to this I don’t have any one to help me financially to start a business, so I have no choice than to result to begging.
How long have you been in this business?
Aha, I have been in this business for close to 15 years now if not more than.
Why did you remain in this business for this long?
The business is well to do. It takes care of my needs and I don’t have to do much.
Did you attend any school?
The only school I attended is Islamic school. I didn’t go to any other kind of school.
Did anyone offered to help you at any time?
Why didn’t you change spot, as you have been in the same place for 15 years now?
As you can see, I’m sitting close to a big church, so I get people to give me something almost every time. This place is okay, things use to come in well here.
Like How Much Do you Make Per Day?
It depends on how people give. If people give well I can make like N2000 in a day, but if people don’t give I make like N500 in a day. But N500 is the minimum in a day.
Did recession/ COVID-19 pandemic affect your daily income?
Not really, because some people still have good heart to give no matter how small and no matter the period.
Is the business helping you meet your needs?
Yes, as far as I can send money to my family and eat out of it.
What are your future plans?
If I see someone to help me, I will open shop to sell things like biscuits, sweet, shoes, etc.
What challenge do you face in the business?
I don’t face any challenge, everything is ok.
If anyone wants to help you what would you want them to help you with?
If anyone wants to help me, he can open shop for me to start selling things or give me money to be able to send to my family and parents at home.
According to a report by Science direct, a 2013 survey indicated that the population of Almajiri (beggars) in Nigeria stood at 12.4 million. The North West zone accounts for 5.1 million, the North-East Zone 3.5 million, North-Central Zone 1.6 million, Southwest zone 7,600, South-South and Southeast zones has 9,228 and 8,200 respectively.
It is apparent that lack of proper education is one of the causes of poverty in Nigeria, and if this can be properly attended to, poverty rate in the nation would be reduced to a barest minimum.