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Friday, February 10, 2017


....young ..young at heart

One needs positive reputation as business owner — Muhammad


ow long have you been in the furniture business and what was the motivation behind it? Between my staff and I, we have more than 15 years’ experience in the industry. I hatched the idea when I was serving in 2002. I kept changing that idea as time went on until it evolved into kitchen making business that exists today. How much capital did you use to start the business? I didn’t have up to N50, 000 in my account. I immediately used what I had to print stationary and literally started the business from the scratch. I’ve had a turnover of more than N15 million and the business is still growing. No business venture is immune to challenges. What challenges

have you faced and how are you managing that? Initially, the major challenge I faced was getting someone to trust me with their kitchen and money. These kitchens are expensive and people always want to see your past jobs before they commission you to do theirs’. Sometimes you have to forfeit what you will gain from a job in order for you to get it done. How do you source for your materials? Furniture-making materials are mostly imported and are available for sale in most building materials markets. I import some of the accessories I use if the job is big; things like cabinet hinges, handles, drawer runners. Even the wood we use comes in a wide range of quality, texture, finishing and cost. The clients’ taste and budget determines the materials we use for their job.

How do you attract customers? Mostly social media! It’s unbelievable how effective social media is for marketing. I’ve gotten a few clients through referrals from other clients but almost 70% of my commissions came from people that saw my works online. We have Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Whatsapp accounts. Advice to other youths who want to be self-employed but don’t know how to start Look for a way you can turn your hobby into a money-making venture. Make sure of whatever you go into. There is never a perfect time to start a business so be ready to take a leap of faith. If you have a job that pays, don’t quit until you absolutely have to; be honest and build a positive reputation as a business owner, because your reputation is what will clinch your business deals. Be patient.

ITF partners NECA, TruckMaster for youth empowerment Text from Nurudeen Oyewole, Lagos The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has assured Nigerians that its latest partnership with the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and TruckMaster Nigeria Ltd will push forward its aspirations in the skill acquisition and entrepreneurial empowerment of Nigerian youths. The Fund’s Director

General, Joseph Ari made this known while on a working visit to the NECA and TruckMaster’s offices in Lagos. According to the DG, while it was unfortunate that there is a rising case of unemployment among many Nigerians youths, the federal government through the Fund is not relenting in creating a roadmap that aligns with the country’s industrial mandate through the maximization of public-

private partnership. “We are at NECA and TruckMaster Ltd to team up with both institutions because we believe that we must join hands with organizations of like minds to help our teeming unemployed youths. This recession is a period to rediscover the mission of the Industrial Training Fund,” Ari said. The Director-General of NECA, Segun Oshinowo described the partnership

between ITF and NECA as one of the necessary steps that must be taken if Nigeria is to survive her economic challenges Also, the Executive Director of TruckMaster Nig. Ltd, Mr Oseme Oigiagbe said the collaboration with ITF and NECA has enabled the organization to empower and train technicians in skills and knowledge of repairing diesel engine and heavy trucks.

‘There is a lunatic in every town’, set to hit bookstores Text by Bamas Victoria @BamasVictoria Basiru Sunday Amuneni, who goes by the stage name ‘Bash ‘is set to bo release his new book titled ‘There is a eve lunatic in every town.’ B a s h c the coeditor of

‘Through the eyes of innocence,’ a collection of poetry written by children under 15 years, is the only Nigeria-based poet who performed at the Presidential Inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Bash who gained considerable recognition as a performance poet said he started as a page poet. As such writing his book was not so tedious. “I started off as a page poet, before moving to performance poetry. I started writing since 1996”, he explained. He said the book has 45 poems and it is divided into three parts: Resonance, Intimacy and the

AUN students’ peace campaign wins $5,000 continental award Text by Simon E. Sunday @SimonEchewofun

Muhammad Abubakar’s specialty lies in skills and creativity. The Architecture graduate also known as “the kitchen guy”, tells YOUTHVILLE about his remodeling and furniture-making business. Text by Mulikatu Mukaila & Eseohe Ebhota @EbhotaEseohe

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results - Sir Winston Churchill

human condition. “It talks about the issues of life, love, death, human conditions, generally the totality of our existence as humans.” The title of the book which will be unveiled in the last week of February in Abuja came about following an experience he had. He said while travelling he saw a bold “Do not urinate here” sign and despite this, people still went there to do their business.This made him write a poem ‘Lunatic on the loose’ which later metamorphosed into the title of his new book. In 2015 Bash released his performance poetry album titled ‘Freedom’.

The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has won the first African Regional ‘Peer-to-Peer ‘(P2P) Challenging Extremism Competition to earn $5,000 grant to promote peace and unity in Nigeria. Team AUN comprising Ms. Zamiyat Abubakar, Abdulmalik G. Aminu, Exploits Nicholas, Hafix Michika, and Mohammed Chubado Ahmed faced off with their counterparts from the University for Development Studies (UDS), Ghana which was the first runner-up and Tunis Business School, (TBS) Tunisia, the second runner-up at the grand finale of the competition which held in Ghana last month. Congratulating the victorious team, President of AUN, Margee Ensign said: “All of us at AUN are so proud of our students, and of the faculty who assisted them, in winning this important international award. “The creativity, intelligence, hard work, and vision which went into this project, which promotes inter-religious understanding and tolerance, reflect what is best about AUN.” The AUN Faculty Adviser who led the team to Ghana and interim associate dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Jacob Udo Jacob said AUN received the first prize of $5,000, UDS got $3,000 and TBS earned $1,000. The Accra, Ghana he said was the first of such competition organised for Africa since the Challenging Extremism programme started 17 years ago. Ms. Zamiyat, a graduating student of the university who was visibly excited about the feat said they created an app: ‘Beliepedia’ that provides an online space to show Islamic and Christian teachings and scriptural texts on some challenging questions on human existence.” “We also organised peace-promoting football tournaments in Yola and stories-for-peace workshop in Mubi where we helped to converge victims of insurgency from both religions to promote the essence of unity and communal respect,” Michika said.

FUT Minna students construct an automated Incubator Inverter Final year students of Mechanical Engineering Department, in Federal University of Technology Minna have constructed an automated Incubator Inverter. According to the Head of the department, Dr. Ore Olugbode, who supervised the construction, the incubator was designed by the students in 500-level who did the work as their final year project. Dr. Olugbode disclosed that, the automated incubator inverter uses an inbuilt battery inverter, solar power and electric light which makes the automated incubator inverter different and more powerful than others. He said that, the incubator has the ability to contain 300,000 eggs and hatch them within 18 to 21 days. “We deemed it fit to embark on the project because of the problem of inconsistent power supply in the country, to reduce the percentage of unemployment in the country and to have more birds and more eggs. 90% of the eggs we consume in Niger State come from the southern part of the country”, he added. Ahmed Sabdat, HND11 Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic Bida.

DAILY TRUST, Friday, February 10, 2017


‘I always reinvest my profit’ — young CEO Though she isn’t a billionaire yet, Bilkisu Muazu is already making a name for herself. Bilkisu is the CEO of Lady Bee Collections, a company that specializes in making handmade Nigerian slippers with a touch of Ankara and leather.

Text by Latifat Opoola @LatifatOpoola


he started and incorporated the company in 2016 with a little amount of capital. “My business was born out of my desire for fashion and love for simple slippers. My startup capital is not much, but start-ups are not the problem in such business. You can start with as little as 50,000 Naira, which will in turn grow substantially” she told YOUTHVILLE. The young entrepreneur, who confessed the business is a lucrative one, says she makes a fair amount of profit enough to take care of her daily needs. “For me the business is not about profit but passion and being able to

see people use my innovation and ideas for the purpose of fashion. My turn over is fairly good but I cannot be specific because I always reinvest my profit to the business due to my passion”, she said. According to the foot ware designer, her number one fan who also motivates her is her husband. “My husband motivated me to start something and I thought “why not go for something I have always liked” and also in line with the government agenda to buy Naija and grow the naira, I started the shoe line”, she said. Bilkisu who holds a degree in Business Administration from Heriot Watt University Dubai, UAE, uses social media and referrals for her marketing

strategy which she confesses has proven to be very effective. On the challenges she faces, Bilkisu laments that there are a lot of copycats in the industry. “Like any other business there are challenges but my main problem is copy right because here in Nigeria we don’t get protected from copy right crimes, people copy your design and put their name on it and you can’t doing anything about it. Secondly timing and effective delivery is another challenge. Then the materials and the constant price change in the market”. Her advice to youths is to start something for themselves while perusing their dreams no matter how small, noting that it is with humble beginnings one grows.

5 common trends associated with Valentine’s day y By Eseohe Ebhota @EbhotaEseohe

It is almost that time of the year again when people come together to celebrate love. This day is traditionally celebrated with expressions of love for one another through the presentation of so many things, ranging from gifts to eating out and hanging out with special ones. However these are not the only trends associated with this day because the list is endless. Dressing in red: Red has been described as the colour of love. Therefore on this day, it is not uncommon to see a lot of ‘couples’

and singles dressed in that colour or at least, with a touch of it in their dressing which could manifest in the shoes, bags, belts, tops (ladies) and ties, shirts (men). It has gradually become a trend. Eating out: On this day most people prefer ‘eating out’ or as they would say, ‘hanging out’ with their loved ones. While it is not entirely wrong to do so on this day, it has become a custom for some that they must eat out that day, especially among ladies. Giving a box of chocolates: A tradition that was known to take place only in Western lands,

seems to be ‘finding its feet’ locally. Who would have thought that this would become a trend too? Flowers: This is accompanied with the box of chocolates. Sometimes, little notes are attached to the flowers to express the depth of love a guy feels for his lady. Another trend? YES! Teddy bear: This list would be incomplete without the mention of a teddy bear. Even if a guy cannot afford taking his babe out or buy chocolates or flowers/cards for her, only a teddy bear with ‘I Love You’ written on a heart shape, would do the trick.


Bida Poly to start a TV station In a bid to enhance student learning and skills, The Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger state, plans to start a broadcasting station in the institution. The rector of the institution, Dr. Abubakar A. Dzukogi said “ The institution is planning to have a television station before the end of the year.” Dr Dzukogi stressed the need of having a studio and television station was in order for students of the department to have a hands-on experience without having to use commercial studios and stations for their practicals. The Head of the department, Dike Kingdom added that the creation of a radio and television station is a welcome idea and it will enhance the skills of the students in the department in airing news and other television programmes”. Elliot Omoye Efeturi FPB, Mass Communication Student.

Igbo students forum set to coronate new king Preparations are in top gear for the coronation of a new king for Igbo students forum of the Federal Polytechnic Bida. The forum comprises of five South-East states of Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo,. The coronation usually takes place in every first semester of the academic calendar, while the kingship rotates among the five South-East states. According to Chidera Augustine, the king-in-waiting , said that he would use his tenure to enhance unity among the south-east students. ”My tenure will create more awareness and get in touch with every Igbo student inside lodges and hostels, through placing of banners at every strategic places to ensure that even at their door step they will get a notice of Igbo meetings and whatever Igbos are doing on the campus” He said. Okeke C. Fidelis, FPB, Mass Communication Department.

Nigerian youth are trained only to read and pass exams — Enukorah Niger If Ifeanyi Enukorah, a British Council certified trainer has been presenting and facilitating customised h interactive workshops since 2015 to audiences in in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. N He spoke to YOUTHVILLE about his passion, H motivation and challenges. m Text by Abubakar Haruna Te A As a former school teacher why did you decide to venture into motivational speaking, trainer and a life coach? I am passionate about seeing young people’s lives change as well as teachers appreciateing

themselves and people appreciating them (teachers). Are your services limited to Nigeria? I was working as Head of Personnel Development at the British Council. I left in 2010 to set up my own company. Ever since I have been to South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Sudan organizing training workshops to

see that people’s lives are changed What are the achievements you made so far? I have achieved a lot with regards to training teachers and school heads. I have gotten serious feedback from teachers and from schools. They always tell you that their teachers have improved in the way they teach. For instance there is a school in Abuja where one of the teachers that attended my workshop did the things that I asked her to do then when the visitors from outside the country came to do validation and verification exercise they scored her 110% over 100%. What do you think is the major

obstacle that prevents youth from achieving their dreams? I think it is the orientation that we have in the country. Again it goes back to the kind of education that we have in the country. In the developed world they are trained to take risks, to be critical thinkers, to ask question and to venture into entrepreneurs but in our environment, students are trained to read and pass exams. So if they finished school there is nothing they can achieve. They can’t even contribute to anything because whatever they did in school was to read and pass exams only. So if they live school they can’t solve real life challenges.

Anger is never without Reason, but seldom with a good One - Benjamin Franklin