Alhaji Dr. Abdulrasheed Adeyemi Adeniran, a community leader and business operator in Saki, headquarters of Saki West Local Government Area of Oyo State has always sought infrastructural development of his community. In this interview with FEMI OGUNTAYO, the proprietor of GASMA Trading Store speaks on the need for continuous clamour for development of Saki by both government and the citizens and why young graduates need not totally rely on government for employment. Excerpts:
Being based in Saki as an entrepreneur could offer experiences different from those that are based elsewhere. What are the noteworthy challenges you are facing as a business operator in your community?
Firstly, I want to thank the government of Governor Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde for the many things he has done so far, but like Oliver Twist we still need a lot in terms of social amenities in Saki. For example, the uncompleted road project that was left behind by the immediate past government of Oyo State is seriously affecting livelihood and our businesses, because we are finding it very difficult to commute, bring in goods and render services as a result of the bad roads. Farmers, traders and even our customers too are having difficulty on how to transport their produce, goods or wares all because of the bad roads.
Secondly electricity supply in Saki is nothing to write home about. To put it mildly, it is epileptic. So, we need the assistance of the Oyo State and Federal governments in this regard. With better electricity, Saki would go places because ours is one of the most commercially viable and dynamic communities in Nigeria. If the government of Governor Makinde can provide us with the necessary social amenities which would serve as impetus, in no distance time, Saki would be rated as one of the most economically developed communities in Nigeria if not in the world.
Our third challenge has to do with taxing. There is the problem of no stable, regular or consolidated tax on goods and services, and this is seriously affecting our business. I my opinion, I think the government should do something in this regard with some level of urgency. I will have to plead with President Mohammadu Buahri to come to our aid in this issue of tax. For example, after the payment of all the necessary government approved duties on our goods, security operatives will still disturb us on extra payments which I think this is not good. There is also the need for security too because we will always need security for the protection of life and property. Security is of a great concern and it is indeed a duty of everyone to be vigilant given the rise in criminality in parts of the country. This is of a great concern. One of the ways governments at various levels can curb insecurity is by finding means of constructively engaging our youths, because an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. I will also charge our youths to also try and be creative because the available job vacancies are not enough to accommodate every young school leaver. This is even why the government must encourage entrepreneurship training and skill acquisition in our schools so as to inculcate the spirit of creativity and self-employment among our youths early enough and before they discover their God-given talents.
The Okere of Saki, Oba Kalid Olabisi Ayinla Ilugbemidepo Oyedepo III, was recently presented with the staff and instrument of office by Governor Seyi Makinde and to some people, this was long in coming. How would you describe this and the royal father himself?
The new Okere, Oba Kalid Olabisi Ayinla is a God-chosen monarch for Saki people. Since his ascension to the throne of his forefathers, Saki has been witnessing peace, progress and accelerated socio-economic development. We are grateful to God that Oba Ilugbemidepo Oyedepo III is also a peace-loving monarch who always preaches peace, love and unity among his subjects. These have been his hallmarks since his becoming the monarch. Here is a traditional ruler, who, immediately after he was installed, started wooing foreign investors into Saki as a way of leading from the front in the quest to bringing socio-economic development to Saki land. So, I want to believe that his reign shall continue to witness peace, progress and accelerated growth and development of Saki land. I really want to thank Governor Seyi Makinde for not wasting time in presenting the staff and instrument of office to Oba Kalid Ilugbemidepo Oyedepo III. I pray that he will live long on the throne in abundant prosperity.
There are various perceptions by Nigerians of the Covid-19 pandemic which, for people like you has affected businesses. What do you think the people of your community should do concerning this coronavirus?
I want every Nigerian, not just the people of Saki to realise that despite the continued ease of lockdown by the Federal government, Covid-19 is still very real and deadly. Therefore, everybody must try and take to all the precautionary measures as laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and all the medical experts. Presently, the virus has killed nearly one thousand people in Nigeria, including some well known people in the political and governmental circles. Therefore, we must all avoid hand-shaking and make sure we wash our hands regularly and use hand sanitizer as well as maintaining of social distance and use of face mask in the public places.
These days, students graduate without jobs. What is your message to the young school leavers?
My candid advice to the young graduates is that they should try and be creative. You see, government cannot employ everybody but people can go into entrepreneurship skill acquisition while in school so that after their graduation, they won’t have to completely be helpless. There is nothing we can compare self reliance with, your own personal work will allow you to make use of your God-given talent and you will be a boss of yourself.
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