At a time many desperate young girls are doing unimaginable things, including selling their bodies to make money, a 300 level female student of Public Administration, of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Agbani, is poised to make a difference.
Juliet Ozioko, 21, said she was pushed by the dwindling economy coupled with the urge to be self-reliant to start the business of preparing and selling Okpa; a popular snack in Igbo land, especially amongst the people of Enugu state.
The enterprise which she started only recently, according to Ozioko, is fast bringing her fame on campus, regardless that many of her classmates mocked her initially.
She told our correspondent that she wakes up early in the morning to start the cooking and by 7am she will be ready to go. Then, she would visit other occupants of a private hostel where she resides in Enugu to find out those would buy the product for breakfast, thereafter, she would take the remaining to the campus in Agbani.
At the campus, she sells to her departmental students before taking what is left to other departments to sell.
Ozioko who also makes a local drink called zobo said: “I started the business just to keep myself busy, get income and augment what I’m getting from my parents for my studies and upkeep.
“I left other businesses and focused on okpa because I am trying to promote one of the best foods Nsukka is widely known for and to promote the culture of my hometown. Mind you, okpa though taken as snacks is one of those foods when you eat it in the morning; it will sustain you for the whole day.”
The young lady disclosed that she makes in the average about N2000 every day from sales, indicating that her studies actually inhibit her desire to expand the trade.
Surprisingly, Ozioko said that she did not have any formal training in preparing the local food but got the skill while she watched her mother cook it overtime.
“I wasn’t trained; I’m just a normal girl who sits in the kitchen while mum cooks, so, my love for okpa made me learn it so fast from my mother,” she said.
Asked what is special about her okpa, she explained that it is tasty and natural because she does not just use any kind of palm oil, adding that she prepares it under very hygienic condition.
The enterprising student also talked about her plans to package the okpa in a special way that it could with time become a brand.
How do other students look at you on this business?
Some students do murmur things like, I don’t even know that she can do this kind of business and some funny comments, most of them do ask me, Juliet, so you’re now selling okpa and I will reply them, no I am selling suya… the good thing is that the business has kept me away from unnecessary distraction.
How do you combine it with your academics?
I do wake up very early in the morning to make the okpa, latest by 7am it will be ready, then I will take my bath, sell to my fellow students in the hostel and take the rest to school. It doesn’t affect my studies at all.
To what extent do you think you will go in this business?
Well, I can’t really say for now, but I know it’s not ending yet, by God’s grace we might have a factory where we produce okpa in large scale. Again, am targeting places like boarding schools and government institutions where I can get contract to supply the okpa, occasionally.
What are the challenges you face in the business?
During my first week in the business, some students were saying ‘your okpa is too big. You won’t make gain if you continue to size it like this’, but lately they were like, increase the size a bit, that alone is a big challenge because if you don’t serve them right, you might lose customers, and I don’t want to lose any of them. Sometimes, you might not sell as fast as you wished; if I notice that people in our department are not ready to eat okpa, I will have to take it to other departments to sell.
Do you have the capacity to supply large quantity say 1000 pieces, if you get an order?
Yes, and that will give me the opportunity to employ some hands and boost the business.
What is your advice to other students who depend solely on their parents/guardians for all their needs?
My advice for them is that nothing is too small to do; it depends on how you run your business. In whatever you do, always remember there are ups and downs, so you will have to be ready to endure, have patience, be determined, and keep being focused. I urge my fellow students who still depend on their parents for everything to start little business. It will really help them, and keep them away from many negative things. Don’t be shy in anything that earns you little money, be bold, proud and love what you do as long as it’s legitimate. God will lift you. Remember that an idle man is devil’s workshop.
Culled from The Sun
In respnse to the on going brouhaha on the citizenship of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, a former Adviser to the late Second Republic President Shehu Aliyu Shagari, has said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is a Nigerian citizen who is qualified to contest for any position in the country.
Yakasai was reacting to recent application by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal that Atiku was unfit to contest for the office of the President of Nigeria in this year’s presidential election because he is Cameroonian.
In a statement in Kano, the former member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the defunct All People’s Party (APP) berated APC for referring to Atiku as a non-Nigerian.
He said: “It is, therefore, strange for leaders of the ruling party in Nigeria, the APC, to claim that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is not qualified to seek to be the President of Nigeria.
“This is a display of ignorance of the highest order on Atiku’s status, as enshrined in our Constitution. In fact, APC is the least among political parties in Nigeria to make such unpatriotic statement.
“There are people sponsored by the party who contested and won elections to elective offices and are today occupying such positions. Atiku is equally or even better qualified to hold any public office in Nigeria than some of such people.”
The elder statesman also recalled that, “before October 1, 1960, both Southern and Northern Cameroons were trusteeship territories under Nigeria, in accordance with Article 76(b) of the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement of 1946.
Read also: Kanu: I’m vindicated about Atiku’s birth place
“This situation dates back to the period of World War I. Prior to that war, some parts of the old Adamawa Emirate were occupied by Germans. Southern and Northern Cameroons were parts of the territories colonised by the Germans along with Togoland, Tanganyika, Southwest Africa, which we now call Namibia.
“That was after the partition of Africa in 1884/1885. After the conquest of Germany in 1919, territories under German occupation were taken over by the newly formed League of Nations and were assigned to different colonial powers as Mandated Territories. Tanganyika, Southwest Africa and Southern and Northern Cameroons were mandated to Britain.
“Citizens of the mandated territories were accorded the same rights and privileges as citizens of the colonies. Britain decided to administer its mandated Cameroons as part of Nigeria. Their citizens of the colonial mandated territories had the same rights and privileges as citizens of colonial Nigeria.”
Yakasai added: “In 1946, with the demise of the League of Nations and the emergence of the United Nations (UN), the Mandated Territories were taken over by the new world body and reassigned to the same colonial powers as Trusteeship Territories. Still Britain continued with administrative structures of the territories as same.
“Before Nigerian independence, many citizens of the trusteeship territories held important public offices at federal and regional levels in Nigeria. Other than the fact, they were elected members of parliament and regional Houses of Assembly, making laws for Nigeria, holding Nigerian international passport. They also served, among others, as Nigeria’s Federal and regional ministers and other civil service and public offices in the country.
“After independence, they decided their future in plebiscites. Those in the Eastern Region chose to merge with the Republic of Cameroon, while those in the North decided to remain with Nigeria. The area of Northern Cameroon after the plebiscite was declared as the 13th Province of northern Nigeria.
“The province chose a name for itself. The name adopted was Sardauna Province. Jada, together with other areas formally known as Northern Cameroon Province, now became known as Sardauna Province.”
The former presidential adviser insisted that Atiku was eligible for any elective position in Nigeria by virtue of his citizenship.
He said: “Atiku is an indigene of Adamawa whose father was an indigene of Sokoto and his mother a bona fide indigene of Adamawa. Many indigenes born before and after him have been accorded full recognition as Nigerians”