Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has revealed how he made his first business decision as far back as 1971.
The former Vice President made the revelation after receiving the Honourary Achiever Award at the Africa’s Youth Entrepreneurs Conference and Award titled “A Stand WithThe Giants” at InterContinental Hotel in Lagos on Thursday night.
Atiku dedicated his award as Honourary African Outstanding Entrepreneur to Nigerian youths, and urged them to have more drive towards entrepreneurship.
He said: “I came to Lagos on June 29, 1969 and after my two years training (with the Nigeria Customs Service); I was posted to the border station of Idi-Iroko. At that time, the Badagry Road had not been constructed and the only means of transportation to the rest of the West African corridor was through the Idi-Iroko border to what used to be called Dahomey and what is now known as Benin Republic.
“On getting to Idi-Iroko, my first posting, I was not married and what I discovered was that the most promising business was transportation. Many pickup vans were transporting women traders from Ajase (Port Novo) to Lagos every morning, and every evening from Lagos back to Port Novo.
“So I asked myself, how I can seize the opportunity of this moving business. I came over to Lagos, and in those days, SCOA were the sole distributors of Peugeot, so I went to SCOA and I signed a hire-purchase agreement and bought four of those pickups and gave them to four different drivers and every day, they would bring their returns to me and at the end of the month, I would go to SCOA and pay them.
“I wasn’t married, so my salaries were intact, and in addition, I was saving from what I was getting from my transport business. Therefore, to be an entrepreneur, you must have the ingenuity to be an entrepreneur.”
Atiku noted that the country’s education system in the early 1960s provided the Nigerian youths the opportunities to make diverse carrier choices.