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Making something out of nothing

Posted: Apr 9, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Eberechi Obinagwam / Special Correspondent


Do you know that little business, handwork; you see people doing and are often over looked can indeed yield something big overtime? Do you know that you can actually make something out of nothing?

Someone here may ask how? Yes, you can start from nothing and make a credible height. Dangote surely started with little, but today he is being celebrated as the richest man in Nigeria.

In Nigeria today, they are whole lot of businesses to do for money, just that many see those things as nothing, whilst, those things they see as nothing actually turns out to be something.

For instance, people tend to overlook certain small businesses like, groundnut trade, biscuit, sweets, and small chops like puff puff, bean cake (akara), moi moi and the rest and see the business as small scale for the low in the society.

Many would even be embarrassed to be associated with those who eke a living doing these businesses and would rather opt for more lucrative business that won’t ‘soil the fingers or put smoke to the face’ as it were.

Oftentimes a lot of civil servants lament at the end of year for not being able to make ends meet while some others worry over accumulated and unpaid salaries hence turn to corporate beggars. Our correspondent spoke to some of the young men and women who engage in some sort of low income and odd jobs and here are what they have to say:

According to Titi Omosan who fries bean cake and yam balls, “Life is a battlefield and not a playground, and certainly, not one of funfair; one thing we should know is that no matter how difficult life is, one can still make out something out of nothing.

“Building up something out of nothing only takes one to be focused, have some form of preservation and determination. I am able to feed my family out of my business and pay my three children through school. I have done this business for eight years and it has grown as you can see I have those who work for me”, she told our correspondent.

Mrs. Glory Akpan, sells bottled groundnut and cashew nuts as well as green fruits, at Berger bus top. She hails from Abak in Akwa-Ibom and has been in the trade for nearly a decade.

According to her, “I actually worked for a while in a factory but had to stop when it was obvious I was unable to make ends meet with my income. I took my little savings and headed to the fruit market to get some seasonal fruits and added groundnuts and cashew nuts.

“Today, as a widow, I have sent my only daughter to school and she is now a graduate and my business has grown so much, that I do make fruit supplies to homes and offices on demand”, said Mrs. Glory Akpan.

Sarah started her puff puff business with just N3000; but chose to use a brand name-Micdor at Sabo area of Ojodu in Lagos



Speaking to our Correspondent, she said, “It wasn’t easy for me at all, it was so tough, and hectic trying to do something different from what everyone was doing.

“There was some stiff opposition from others doing the same business but I persisted with the distinct taste and flavour I add to my puff puff. In the beginning the profit was low but I know where I was heading and today, the rest is history”, she said reeled with pride as she tries to attend to some of her clients.

Sarah with the little profit she was making in the beginning started a contribution of N300 daily. She said at a point in her business, she saw herself going to the market with more than 10,000, on a daily basis, and in addition, her happiness was that she has never had leftovers unlike her contemporaries.

Today, Sarah, boost of living in her own well built apartment, and comfortably paying her children’s fees as a single mother.

Uchenna, is also among the people who started with nothing, but today has made commendable height.  He is a foodstuff seller, he started with N50, 000, that was given to him by his master after serving him for few years.

Uchenna not knowing where to start with the money first paid his tithe of 5000, remaining 45,000, still thinking on what to do, he went to a woman whom he said loaned him the sum of N77000, to be paid with interest in each product he bought.

With the money, Uchenna said, “I was able to buy garri with the 45000, and rice with the 77000, while I bought beans on Credit from one Alhaji”.

All things set, Uchenna said: “Due to the competitive nature in the market,  I needed to boost my commodities in order  to make it look attractive for customers. I had to spend that huge amount of money because in this foodstuff business, the more goods you have in your shop, the more it attracts customers’’.

According to him, in the first month, the income was not much, and he also lost N2000 from his capital, but, dramatically, by the second month, he said, made a profit of N15, 000 and by the third month, I made a profit of N45000.

‘’My business has kept on increasing, till I got to the level of being a distributor, and now, I am into an international business of selling these food commodities to companies as sole distributor”, he told our Correspondent.

For Adewale Ogun an Electrician, he started his electrical business with just N15, 000, and today, with same business, he had made something out of nothing, he got married, and already has an undergraduate daughter, and currently living on his own apartment.