Turn­ing WASTE to WEALTH

Daily Trust - - BIZ WIZ -

For young en­tre­pre­neur from Bauchi State, Muham­mad Ab­dul­lahi Sal­isu and his friends, there is a thin line be­tween waste and wealth, as the for­mer can be used to get the lat­ter. And all you need to achieve this is to be able to iden­tify what you want and work to­wards get­ting it. Twenty two year old Sal­isu, who is also based in Bauchi, emerged as one of the top 10 leading en­trepreneurs out of the 50 short­listed Small and Medium En­ter­prises s Own­ers in the 2014 edi­tion of the Eti­salat Easy­busi­ness ness Mil­lion­aires Hunt.

The Bio-Chem­istry try grad­u­ate from Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity ver­sity (ABU) Zaria said qual­i­fi­ca­tion cation and pas­sion for pro­vid­ing g so­lu­tion to waste man­age­ment ge­ment prob­lem trig­gered his in­ter­est in re­cy­cling cling busi­ness. He says ays Nige­rian youth, h, es­pe­cially stu­dents, s, can start do­ing g some­thing while e in the ter­tiary y in­sti­tu­tion.

“I stud­ied Bio- Chem­istry at Ah­madu du Bello Univer­sity ty (ABU), Zaria and I grad­u­ated this year (2014). Since we were in the univer­sity, we had in­ter­est in the chem­istry mistry of waste ma­te­ri­als that is the main re­cy­cling process.

He said the three of his friends whom he started the busi­ness ness to­gether with are Su­fian Habeeb from B Bauchi, hiIdiM Idris Man­sha h and dAh Ah­mad d Ab­dulka­dir Koroso from Kano State.

“So when we grad­u­ated, hav­ing known the rate of un­em­ployed grad­u­ates in the coun­try, I and my friends de­cided to source for funds and start this re­cy­cling busi­ness. This is be­cause there are a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the mar­ket, es­pe­cially the waste busi­ness. In Kano State, for in­stance, about 9000 met­ric tons of waste are pro­duced and that is why we are re­cy­cling it,” Sal­isu said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the busi­ness is ma­tur­ing as it is now 20 months old. The group plans to ex­pand the ven­ture to in­dus­trial scale con­ver­sion of plas­tic waste, to agri­cul­tural ma­te­ri­als like cor­ro­sion plas­tic bas­ket for farm­ers, be­fore go­ing to the med­i­cal field to pro­duce clin­i­cal ma­te­ri­als.

“We want to es­tab­lish other re­cy­cling cen­tres in Azare in Bauchi State and an­other in Zaria, Kaduna state. We hope that in the next 10 year years, we would go into man­age­ment of waste was and be­come one of the best waste wast man­age­ment com­pa­nies in the world,” Sal­isu said. He add added that: “The re­cy­clin re­cy­cling busi­ness is v very lu­cra­tive beca be­cause the re­turn on in­vest­ments is ab about 65 per­cent, so we were able to gen­er­ate N N2.5mil­lion in th the first year w we started the b busi­ness.”

The group sa said they would tur turn down the of­fer offe for a white col­lar job be­cause they as­pire a to be em­ploy­ers em­ployer of labour rather than em­ploy­ees. Sal­isu said: “Even if am of­fered a job that tha can get me N500,000 a month, I won’t take it b be­cause I Il al­ready dh have a sta­ble bl busi­ness. I am al­ready in busi­ness. This is my own busi­ness which I started and will not quit it for any paid job.”

Sal­isu, who rep­re­sented the group at the Eti­salat train­ing, stated that he had gained a lot of things as this is the first busi­ness ses­sion he had ever at­tended.

He noted that the con­ver­gence had helped him to meet with other people who are in the same kind of busi­ness both in La­gos and other states. “I have also got­ten to know other tools pe­cu­liar to the busi­ness which I didn’t know be­fore,” he added.

Al­though the young CEOs are mak­ing head­way in the busi­ness, Sal­isu said fund­ing re­mains a chal­lenge to ex­pand­ing the waste-re­cy­cling busi­ness.

But he quickly noted that the Eti­salat N2mil­lion which they have got­ten through the Eazy­busi­ness Mil­lion­aires Hunt project would help them to ac­quire re­cy­cling ma­chines and to de­velop their land which they had ac­quired ear­lier.

“We are go­ing to use the money to buy ma­chin­ery and the ma­chin­ery we would buy can be used con­tin­u­ously for two to three years. We are go­ing to source for raw ma­te­ri­als lo­cally within the com­mu­ni­ties around us,” he added.

Sal­isu re­stated his ear­lier ad­vice to Nige­rian youths. “We were in the univer­sity when we started, and stu­dents shouldn’t wait un­til they grad­u­ate be­fore they start do­ing some­thing. They could fin­ish the de­gree and use the knowl­edge to ex­pand the idea.

“There are lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the coun­try and they should look into it and find where their ideas fit in to em­ploy them­selves rather than look­ing for a job that is not avail­able and may never be,” he said.

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