There is always some unspoken expectations that one is meant to live up to. Grow up, get college education, marry, have children and own a home – not necessarily in this particular order.
In some part of the world, there is a system in place to assist working citizens get on a property ladder through loans if one has a job to guarantee debt repayment. This system sometimes assumes that all adults have common sense and would only take on appropriate debts they could afford.
In Nigeria, this is a whole different story. There is no established mortgage loan except for those who work for the government and a few well-run private companies. So if a Nigerian has a home, there is a very good chance it is owned outright as you get to build the house from scratch.
This could be exciting opportunity to design one’s own home to taste. However, it also means that to own a home is an exceptional privilege as Nigeria goes, in most cases life savings have gone into it.
A friend, shortly after started working, joined a micro finance group whereby a set monthly deductions is taking from her salary. The idea was that when it gets to her turn to collect the sum, it will be substantial enough to take on a significant project.
Hannah is a teacher, work full-time with three children and renting 2 rooms (not to be confused with 2 bedroom). She is a content person and happy with her family. She wanted to use the huge chunk of money to buy a land and build a foundation on it – this is what she feels she is expected to do, husband works at a nearby Teaching Hospital as a lab assistant and has been spending quite a lot of his income to get higher qualification, he would not be able to contribute.
“I’d use this money to start up a business as a means to generate extra income, and the business will serve as an investment to add on to – this is likely to make more financial sense than embarking on a project that one is well aware it’s not going to get off the ground.” I said.
“Why do you bother about what people say anyway?” I asked Hannah. Hannah worries that she would end up like her own parents who are in their 70s and still renting. Her parents made a choice to spend their money on educating their children. They may still be renting but they had no burden from any of the children and happy with minimal old age stress.
If it’s any consolation, without those many years of renting of about half a dozen houses while I was little, how would I ever get to meet so many interesting co-tenants? They, without a doubt make my stories a lot more colourful.
Not so bad.