Usman Abubakar-Rimi, a Medicine and Surgery final year student at the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State, (UDUS) has narrated how he turned to a street food vendor due to the prolonged industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022, keeping thousands of students at home.
Abubakar-Rimi said he conceived the initiative in order to engage in productive living as the strike forced students to become redundant.
The student, who owns a food outlet in the Diplomat area in Sokoto metropolis, explained that the ongoing strike gave him the opportunity to expand the business.
“I hired a shop, employing eight people manning tea and indomie joints, selling bottled and canned drinks, masa, rice and beans, peppe soup and meat along with the Point of Sale (POS) business.
“A plate of food sells from N200 and above depending on the needs of the customer,” Abubakar-Rimi said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday.
He explained that he owned another shop on Fodio road, also in the Sokoto metropolis where he sells men and women’s clothing, caps, student bags, and shoes.
“I am always happy to see that I become an employer of labour. At present, I engaged 10 persons in the two shops.
“I relied on the shops for handsome incomes, because I don’t ask my parents for any money in spite of the fact that schools were closed,” he added.
Abubakar-Rimi said he did not access any loan or youth empowerment scheme to embark on the businesses.
“However, I utilized the opportunity of COVID-19 lockdown, during the pandemic and started an egg and chicken distribution business where I had made contacts with restaurants for the supply.
“I also obtained the eggs and chickens from large scale farms from small amounts to higher quantity suppliers, from the proceeds I started the two businesses,” he added.
The student entrepreneur said the businesses had a lot of prospects and encouraged youths to think on the ways to utilise their time and venture into viable initiatives.
“With the lucrative opportunities provided by the businesses, I envisage to continue with the ventures even after my graduation.
“When I become a medical doctor, I envisage to engage in work that will not be too time consuming because at present, I have begun to lose hope on a salary earning job.
“I want to establish a pharmacy, work in a private hospital as well as engage in private initiated-businesses relevant to my profession,” he explained.
He advised students to utilise their free times to engage in businesses, stressing that the present online services provided a lot of opportunities to leverage.
The student called on President Muhammadu Buhari to find a lasting solution to the strike in the interest of youths and the country’s progress.
He further appealed to the lecturers and the federal government to consider the students’ plight and resolve the issue as the effects of the strike bites harder.