Some civil servants in Asaba have taken to farming and menial jobs at their spare times to cope with the economic realities in the country.
Some of the civil servants told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Sunday that their salaries could no longer sustain them and their families.
Mrs. Franca Abasi, who now cultivates vegetables, said: “I am a civil servant and I have decided to go into vegetable farming to make more income.
“I have a little piece of land where I cultivate pumpkin leaf, okro and green vegetable. I no longer rest when I close from work. Weekend rest is not for me any longer.
“In the last two months, I have been getting proceeds from my farms; we feed from it and I am able to save some money to take care of other expenses in the house.’’
Gabriel Edejana, a local government staff, told NAN that the experience he gathered from his workplace had assisted him to carry out some electrical maintenance work.
“For about four months now, I have been making as much as N15,000 monthly outside my salary which does not even come regularly.
“If I sit down at home after work, I will not make such money and with this extra income, we are managing to feed and also attend to some other needs of the family,” he said.
NAN reports that a staff of the state Ministry of Sports who pleaded anonymity now operates a tricycle.
He said: “I am a civil servant but I decided to take a loan from the cooperative society to buy this tricycle.
“I refused to hire it out because I will not get back my money if I do so. I operate it after work and by the grace of God, each day I go home with at least N1000,’’ he said.
He, however, decried the stress associated with riding the tricycle, and appealed to government to alleviate the plight of workers making more efforts to check inflation.
He noted that workers salaries now could not sustain them for a week now due to the prevailing high cost of living.
According to him, people are hungry and food is expensive while house rent is on the increase and cost of transportation and school fees are also soaring thereby compounding the problems of civil servants.