Coping With Urban Poverty: Examining Multiple Income Generation Practice Among Casual Workers In Ibadan, Nigeria

  • OA Ajani
Keywords: Multiple income, casualization, coping strategies, casual workers, and poverty.


The Nigerian government’s structural adjustment programmme of late 1980s heralded the casualization of labour, most especially in the
industrial/manufacturing sector of the economy. And this did not come without its attendance problem of inadequate income occasioned by inadequate and irregular income. This study examines one of the various strategies that casual workers use to cope with economic hardship in the face of inadequate and irregular income: the practice of seeking income from more than one source among casual workers in two selected manufacturing industries in a Nigerian urban community. The study relied on survey data from two manufacturing industries in Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics The main findings of the study were that workers’ income was inadequate in the face of prevailing economic condition in the country; over 80% of the respondents survived on less than one dollar a day,
and 65.3% of the workers resorted to seeking income from multiple sources in the two industries selected for the study. The result of the analysis showed that all socio-economic characteristics put together did not influence seeking income from multiple sources. However, marital status, level of education and main occupation were significant predictors of the practice. In general, the study showed that wages were inadequate in the face of the obligations and realities of the society. As a way of overcoming poverty, workers in the selected industries found other means of supplementing their income outside the organizations. The
study concluded that it is inappropriate to rely on a single intervention strategy for poverty alleviation. It is suggested that poverty alleviation strategies should take into consideration specific situational factors confronting individuals rather than top- down strategies.

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