How To Start Thrift Collection Business In Nigeria (Osusu, Ajo)

thrift collection businiess

Thrift collection business is a daily money collection business just as the name implies. Here you have to go round homes, offices, houses, shops, institutions etc. to collect money from people; keep it for them for some days. Sometimes 30 days or more depending on individuals. At the end of the month you take out 1% of the money contributed by each individual as your percentage while remitting the remaining money to the depositor. Assuming someone gives you #1,000 everyday for 31 days, you will give the person #30,000 at the end of the month while you keep #1,000 for yourself.

The business does not require any particular qualification, anybody can do the it whether educated or uneducated. The business can be started without capital except for the cards and record book to be used.
Thrift collection business is referred to as afo in yoruba, adashe in hausa, etibe in Ibibio and osusu in igbo land.


1. Integrity: you mustn’t muzzle this; it should be your watch word and your guiding light. It can’t be bought with money so if you are not sure you have it please don’t start the business. Because it is a business bank on truthfulness. Any crafty or cunning behaviour the people will run. Nobody wants to risk his/her hard earn money.

2. Good management: you should be able to manage any money that is kept in your care. If you are someone with big eyes then this business is not for you, leave it for others. You shouldn’t be extravagant with people’s money rather you should be prudent enough to reinvest it. Look for something that can yield money before the cycle completes.

3. Consistency: you have to be very committed and consistent, try as much as you can to go round every week days. And if you must be absent it should be for a genuine reason but you have to let the people know before hand. Except otherwise, maybre n moments of impromptu. Nobody will like to continue with you if you are the type that goes today and stay back tomorrow. The depositors will be afraid that one day you may disappear with their money.


  1. It does not need much capital with #10,000 you can start the business. This will cover; card printing, purchasing of record book and pen.
  2. You don’t have anything to lose in this business rather you have all it takes to succeed. Once someone deposits #1 whether for one day the money is your own whether the person stops or continues.
  3. It is possible to make huge money depending on the population you are dealing handling and the amount the people contributes. Plenty people means plenty money and big contribution means big output.
  4. You are your own boss and not under any pressure or conditions.
  5. Your home can be your office but for security reasons chose elsewhere. Not necessarily a rented place for use but a traceable address that will give your customers the confidence that you are not fake.


  • A bag
  • Pen
  • card
  • Long hard cover book/software
  • Mobility (if you can afford it)

The bag is where you put the money, record book or thrift software and card. It should be a very big bag that can contain all of those things. Most people use the ones the can hang across their neck. Pen is for recording or writing down the money you received and every other thing to be written.

Book is for recording. Make sure you write down every amount you receive or give out even after writing them in the card. That which is in the card should correspond with what is in the record book.
Dont collect any money and say you will record it later do it immediately before you forget.

The card should not be absent from your bag, take them with you anytime you are going round. In case of new intake you quickly register them. The card should contain your address.


Con out a name for your thrift collection business boldly written in front of the card. It can be Noble Savings, Trustworthy Savings etc. It will make it easy for people to identify with you. The inside should have both vertical and horizontal lines that forms a block or square. The vertical line is for months of the year while the horizontal is for days of the week.


Start from a known place to the unknown. Assuming you want to start from a market place, tell your customers about it. Some of them will welcome the news, you start with them and from there, others will join one after the other. Still others will be observing when the realise that you are real, they too will join. Personally, I will not advise you to do thrift collection business in your street or neighbourhood for security reasons.

I know a lady who is into thrift collection business in Abuja. She is staying in Bwari Local Government Area but she is doing the business in Municipal. Nobody around her knows what she is doing. She closes by four O’clock after depositing the money in the bank so you will take her for a Government worker.

She started from a spare part complex from there to a transport company and from there again to a public motor park. The number kept on increasing until she has to put a stop to accepting prospective customers.


There is good money in osusu business but the amount of money you make will depend on the number of people you have and the amount they contribute. Contributors contribute different amounts. One can contribute #500 another one #1,000 and so on and so forth.
Although the money you make from percentage at the end of the month may be small, what you do with the money collected before remitting them is what will enrich you.

The lady I mentioned earlier told me she makes #800,000 every month. And she is anticipating operating a hotel business. When she started her husband used to drop her then come back and pick her to the bank when she is through. Before long she bought her own car and that is what she is cruising to do the business now. I won’t doubt her because the calibre of people doing business with her confirms it.


  1. Invest the money : you can quickly invest the money in a business that can give you high returns at the end of the month. It could be a supply business, buying and selling etc. It must be a business that will not exceed one month.
  2. Give quick loan: you can use the money for debt interest or loan. The percentage could be 10%-20%. Some persons collect 10% if the person is bringing back the money within a month and 20% after a month. Assuming you gave #100,000 to someone the person is supposed to give you #110,000 at the end of the month or #120,000 after a month. That makes sense isn’t it?
  3. Set up a business with it: you can convince your customers to leave their money for some months. Reduce the commission so the can accept the proposal. You can then use the money to set up a good business. Like the lady I told you about she opened a baby shop in the market and employed 2 workers. She goes there after her afo business. You can consider a fix deposit with the bank.


Every business has a risk factor but money business has a greater risk. Some of the threats are:

Thief/Arm robbery: two years ago in my location a man lost his afo business money to arm bandits. He went to the bank and collected money to pay his customers back but unfortunately entered a keke where he was robbed. The robbers collected about 2 million naira from him and pushed him out of the keke and out of the business. He only woke up to reality in the hospital bed.

Eventuality: there is a lady who was doing osusu business in the market, my sister happened to be one of the contributors. The lady put to birth but due to complications she made use of people’s money. Up till today she is yet to pay back the monies.

It will be advisable for you to secure your thrift collection business by Insuring it. There are many Insurance Companies to liase with.


  1. Arrange with someone you trust to be picking you whenever you are withdrawing money in bulk or you withdraw the money in batches to pay the owners.

Use the money you collect on the first day of another month to settle some people.
Better still get a software if you can afford it for use. It will help in account management, payment, for report or data collection and storage.

Don’t carry any money to the house, try as much as you can to deposit it at the bank before going to your house.
Train either a family member or someone close to you and get your customers to know the person so that any day you are indisposable the person can hold brief for you.

In case you want to employ an outsider it should be someone you are very sure is trustworthy. Let the person bring sureties (civil servant) to stand as guarantors. Make sure you both sign agreement after stating your terms.


  • Give every client gift at the end of the year, no matter how small but something that is reasonable. You can save this type of money somewhere just for this purpose.
  • Be consistent and punctual
  • Also you should be approachable, friendly and humorous.
  • You can lend your customers money with little or no interest when the person is in need. And then you get the money back as you collect from her daily contribution.


Learn new things that will improve the business and introduced them to your business.

Let your wisdom grow as the business grows. Target high commercial places for your daily contribution business.

Don’t let your family members place demands on you because of people’s money be very wise and separate family from your business.

For now there is no regulation or body for this business so go ahead and start. Deposit the monies collected in micro finance bank because of their flexibility in giving loans.

You can use pos for thrift collection and every other sub-businesses that follows. To know more about pos business, click here.

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  1. Thanks. For your updates, is thrift business still profitable with the avant of modern technology such as POS, ATM, mobile transfer and the likes.

    • @Andrew, it is still very profitable, even micro-finance banks are adopting it. POS and ATM are doing different things completely


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