Elisha Ilesanmi opened his email one morning recently and found out he had been relieved of his job. His employer, a marketing firm in Ikeja, Lagos, cited poor sales during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“My former employer, an importer of electronics from China, was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning of the year, we experienced poor sales. But by March when the state government, and later the Federal Government, shut down businesses, of course, we couldn’t sell any goods.
“I started sensing trouble when at March ending, we were not paid salary. At first, we did not hear anything from the company, but they later informed us that we would receive half of our salary. They paid it in the second week of April,” Ilesanmi told Saturday PUNCH.
With no sales made by the company amid the continued COVID-19 troubles, the Osun State indigene said he knew it would be hard for his former employer to pay April salary.
He said, “In mid-April, around 70 per cent of the workforce was sacked. I was spared then but I didn’t know that my sacking was coming. The company used to pay me around N130,000 per month.
“But as April was ending, I got an email from the human resources department that they would only pay the basic salary for April, and I was shocked to know that it was just N35,000. I was mad, but, of course, it’s better than having nothing.”
Ilesanmi said the problem reached the peak when his former employer sacked him in the first week of May when the lockdown was being eased.
“I was thanking God that finally I could return to work but I got an email on May 1 that my services were no longer required due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I was devastated, though it didn’t really come as a surprise. All the signs had been there,” he said.
Ilesanmi added that the problem now was to get a new job as businesses were just opening after the weeks-long shutdown.
“I know many friends who were affected too. So the problem was not peculiar to my former employer. But the issue now is getting a new job,” he said.
Ilesanmi is not the only one who has lost their job due to the coronavirus, which broke out last December in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China.