ASUU strike: Final-year medical student now food vendor

As a result of the on-going strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), a final year medicine and surgery student at the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, Usman Abubakar-Rimi, has become a street food vendor.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Sokoto, Abubakar-Rimi said he conceived the initiative in order to engage in productive living as the strike forced students to become redundant.

Abubakar-Rimi, who owns a food outlet and Indomie joint in the Diplomat area in Sokoto metropolis, explained that the on-going extended strike embarked on by the academic staff universities gave him the full opportunity.

He said he ventured into full-scale food selling in the last two months and described the business as lucrative.

“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 business.

“A plate of food sells from N200 and above depending on the needs of the customer,” he said.

He added 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 – as at present I engage 10 persons in the two shops. I rely on the shops for handsome incomes, because I don’t ask my parents for any money in spite of the fact that schools are closed,” he added.

Abubakar-Rimi said 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.

“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 said further that when the school resumed, the businesses would be sustained and combined with his academic activities.

“I designed a sustainability plan where registers were opened for maximum record keeping, supply chain and other management procedures.”

According to him, the advantages of online platforms ensured that they run and manage the businesses properly using cell phones which facilitate contacts.

“With the lucrative opportunities provided by the businesses, I envisage to continue with the ventures even after my graduation.”