Usman Abubakar-Rimi, a final year medical student of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, has turned into a street food vendor due to the months-long ASUU strike.
In an interview on Friday in Sokoto, Mr Abubakar-Rimi said he decided to become a food vendor to engage in productive living as the strike has forced many students to become redundant.
“I hired a shop, employing eight people manning tea and Indomie joints, selling bottled and canned drinks, masa, rice and beans, pepper soup and meat along with the point-of-sale (POS) business,” said the medical student. “A plate of food sells from N200 and above depending on the needs of the customer.”
He explained that he owned another shop on Fodio road, also in the Sokoto metropolis, where he sells men’s 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,” the student added.
Mr Abubakar-Rimi mentioned that he did not access any loan or youths empowerment scheme to embark on the businesses.
“However, I utilised 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,” he disclosed.” “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.”
Mr Abubakar-Rimi further mentioned that the businesses had prospects and encouraged youths to consider ways to utilise their time and venture into viable initiatives, revealing that he would continue the business even when the strike is called off.
“I designed a sustainability plan where registers were opened for maximum record keeping, supply chain and other management procedures,” explained Mr Abubakar-Rimi.
He added, “With the lucrative opportunities provided by the businesses, I envisage continuing with the ventures even after my graduation. When I become a medical doctor, I envisage engaging in work that will not be too time-consuming because, at present, I have begun to lose hope in a salary-earning job.”
Mr Abubakar-Rimi dreams of establishing a pharmacy, working in a private hospital, and engaging in “private-initiated businesses relevant to my profession.”
The Usman Danfodio university undergraduate advised students to use their free time to engage in businesses, stressing that the present online services provided many opportunities to leverage.
Mr Abubakar-Rimi called on President Muhammadu Buhari to find a lasting solution to impending strikes in youths’ interest and the country’s progress.
He also appealed to ASUU to consider the students’ plights and resolve the issue as soon as possible.