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‘We will go from offloading goods to importers of goods’

The three young graduates seen loading and offloading goods at the popular Laranto market in Jos are today being saluted for their courage and humility…

The three young graduates seen loading and offloading goods at the popular Laranto market in Jos are today being saluted for their courage and humility to an occupation many in their shoes would have frowned at.
Despite their educational qualifications, the young graduates are usually seen among other young, able bodied men loading and offloading goods such as bags of kolanuts brought from Owerri and belts or dealers of fairly used clothes usually brought from Aba.
Hassan Musa Ibrahim graduated with a Second Class lower division from the Department of Political  Science, Usman Dan Fodio University while Mu’azu Sadis Isa and Isa Musa are graduates of Political Science and Social Works/Sociology from the University of Jos.
The three graduates joined the loading and offloading business after scouting for jobs which proved unsuccessful. Today, Hassan Ibrahim says he is able to marry and cater for his wife and daughter while Isa Musa boasts of being the proud owner of a house.
The three young men say they work by a popular motto which says “there is dignity in labour.” Hassan said he joined the occupation when he saw a few acquaintances loading goods and asked them to put him through.
He explained, “I have friends in this market and they usually do the job so I decided that instead of sitting down and waiting for them to give me peanuts why not join them since I am strong. I graduated in 2008 and I have been doing it since then.
“Though I tried to apply for short service, National Identity Management, etc., I was not successful. For now I do more of hard labour when goods are brought to the market we load and off load and I am proud of it.”  He says the advantage that comes with loading and offloading of the goods is that it exposes him to the price of things in the market adding that “for instance if I am able to save up some capital instead of doing this hard labour, I will start the business of buying and selling those dealer cloths they usually bring and then employ young men to load and offload them for me.”
He added that as graduates, they derive encouragement from traders within the market who always pray for them and point them out as examples for others to emulate.
“People around here are very nice and they point us out as an example to others telling them that I am a graduate yet I am loading and off-loading goods. They pray for God to bless us and that is reassuring,” he said.
In the loading and offloading business however, there is no permanent friend, just interest as anyone could join a group for the collective work in which profits are later shared.
“We carry the goods in group from the truck; you bring it down others carry to a certain distance, hand over to others who will take it to the designated shop. There is no permanent group, whoever you get you work with, it is collective work if we carry ten, they pay us for ten and we share the money,” he added Hassan Mu’azu Sadis Isa however said paramount to the loading and offloading business is commitment, discipline and the ability to save wisely. He explained that “sometimes I make N2,000 a day but there are also days in which you may end up with zero. Because sometimes there is work to be done while other times there are no work so you have to learn to save properly.”
Isa Musa who started loading and offloading shortly before he graduated from the University of Jos said the hard labour helped finance his projects and other school activities. He said, “I graduated from University of Jos in 2010 and today I am proud to say I have built a house from this work. I help my friends financially including those that are doing government job.”
He said though there are people who may not want to get their hands dirty and have resorted to looking for white collar jobs, his dream for now is to improve his present occupation and join the league of those who import fairly used cloth.
“I will move to container dealer business by God’s grace, because there are a lot people that were carrying load and today they are importing goods such as these dealer cloths from outside. I have given myself a target of eight years and by God’s grace I can make it. I will need at least five million and I will be able to make it by God’s grace,” he said confidently.
He advised youths to be self-reliant saying, “youths should go out and hustle for themselves; that is what will help them in their life and future. We don’t depend on anybody and when it comes to contribution, we can contribute to help someone from N1, 000 up to N30, 000. I can marry with this job and today I have built a house with this job, many of us have done that. Youths should be hustlers they should not feel too big because they have girlfriends. They should hustle, if you have your money you can feed yourself, wear good cloth and even help others.”

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