Shehu Habibu left Nigeria's troubled northeast in the heat of the Boko Haram attacks as he searched for safety.

He moved to Lagos and was embraced by its warm and upbeat vibe.

He feels physically safe but wonders how safe is his hard-earned money?

With little or no prior knowledge about what he now does - polishing and fixing people’s shoes – he found he could earn a living.

He told Bounce News that every morning he sits by the road that connects Awolowo Way in Ikeja and another road that leads to the airport, waiting for passers-by to shine their shoes.

His location is apt but there is competition, as other teenagers like him sit at the same location in long line waiting for limited customers.

Each day Shehu sits there, he makes a minimum of 1,400 Naira and he said he feeds with 350 Naira every day.

He says he eats for strength and sanity not for the nutritional value.  

He sounded lucky when he said he had no business paying rent, as he sleeps somewhere in front of people's shops after they close.

His closest companion is the big beautiful sky which he stares at all night long.

Shehu Habibu

Shehu's present burden is the recession which he claims is biting harder on his customers and by extension on him. He seems quite confused. With little education, he could barely manage to speak pidgin English.


“Now, it has become difficult to make that much again. People hardly polish their shoes that much again. It looks as if they do that more on their own now,” he said.


One obvious thing this time is that many Nigerians have been kicked to shape by the grip of recession that had hit Africa's largest economy in the second quarter of 2016.


The nation's Gross Domestic Product had contracted by 2.06% in a report of the National Bureau of Statistics and had contracted further in the following quarters.


The circumstance had been blamed on the scarcity of dollar needed for importation of most goods consumed in the nation that has all it takes to produce those goods and attacks on the nation’s oil facilities dipping crude oil output which is the nation’s major source of revenue.


Shehu lacks so much understanding of what dollar exchange rate is to the Naira, but he knows that the economy has nosedived, because he now buys a can of polish between 250 to 300 Naira over 70% higher than what it used to be and he also spends more amount of money for food but still gets less quantity and quality.