By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
The Chief Executive Officer, Ankara Lanta Limited, Miss Ebunoluwa Asiwaju has urged Nigerian youths to be more creative and source for skills rather than waiting for white collar jobs.
Asiwaju who is a graduate of Business Administration from University of Ado Ekiti, gave the advice while speaking with journalist during Ankara Lanta Yardage Sale expo that kicked off on December 5, at 26, Osuntokun Avenue, Praise Place , Bodija, Ibadan
She expressed concern that some graduates and youths do not want to engage themselves in skills acquisition but rather searching for white collar job, saying that being a graduate does not exclude one from involving in any other legitimate business that would make him or her to earn a living and live a successful life.
According to her, rather than engage in skills acquisition to further impact positively on their economic well being, some youth rely on the government to provide jobs for them.
“I will advise those searching for white-collar jobs to acquire skills in various vocations that would make them relevant to their communities and the society in general,” she said.
“Looking for white collar jos is not a problem if it’s available , if it’s not available then why do you still need to lobby around and search for it.”
While Speaking on her fabrics business, Asiwaju said Akara Lanta Yardage Store is one of the biggest fabrics stores in Ibadan and she has been doing everything within her reach to protect the brand, saying this is one of the reasons why they make sure that the fabrics are of good qualities.
She further explained that, the reason for the expo is to accord the residents the opportunity of purchasing “fabric as low as N500, Dry Lace Combo as low as N500, Swarovski
stones as low as N5000, bags as low as
N5000, Purses as low as N3500 and Shoes as low as N3500.
She however, urged stakeholders in the state to aid networking their store to enhance optimal business performance.
“What distinguishes me from others is that we have a brand and as long as we have a brand , we have a name to protect. We make sure that the fabrics are of good good qualities.
She noted that Ankara Lanta Yardage Sale expo is initiated to serve as a platform where the best local produce/services are celebrated.
While talking about his experience so far since she ventured into Ankara fabrics Business, Asiwaju said that the business has been so wonderful except for pandemic that stalled the sales this year.
“I have been in this Ankara fabrics for about five years. Though, I have been engaging in business for about ten years now. So far, fabric business is going on well except for the exchange rate and pandemic that actually affected everyone,” she said.
“The experience has been wonderful , except from the fact that importation business has really crazy lately but there is still a good one.”
Explaining why she ventured into Ankara fabrics Business, the CEO, Akara Lanta limited said she has started the business since when she was in school and after she got a job she was still operating her boutique she was operating alongside the corporate work.
“I have done several businesses before now like I said earlier, I have been into business since 2001 when I was in school, then when I moved back to Ibadan I opened a boutique and everything was going on well for me, I thought that was what I was going to do till I will retire but due to bad exchange rate, importation problem and new government policies everything started affecting the business so I just thought of something I could source locally so that was how I thought about Ankara Lanta Business.
“Then Ankara business already has some importers that bring it in , we also have some brands that they don’t make in Nigeria, but already have their brands, their companies in Nigeria, so all what we needed is just to register with them as dealer.”
She noted that apart from the staff working in the store with a good salary, the fabrics store has trained many youths, such as corps members and students on entrepreneurship business
“We have several programmes we usually do fo start up. Last year December we did a lot of things but due to pandemic this year. Like last year , we did some Programmes for corps members , we have copers basically those that worked in Ibadan North Local government,” she explained.
“We talked to them and met with their LI so that they could guarantee them. We have been able to support corp members because we felt that they have contacts so it would be very difficult for them to run away with our money.
Another thing we did entrepreneurship Programme for students. They were being sent by Oyo state government and we trained them for two weeks.
She however revealed her plan to extend the business beyond the Ibadan Oyo state capital alone saying though, most of their customers do select their goods through online. She also optimistic to have her own textile company in Nigeria.
“I have intention of having my textile company where I will be producing my textile in Nigeria and outside the country. And it would help in help reducing cost. What advice would you give to other business owners.
“The first piece of advice I would offer is that you are never closer to having what you want than the day you feel like quitting. Don’t quit on your dream. Every business that you try that doesn’t work helps you to learn more about what works and what doesn’t, and you can apply that to your next business venture. Don’t worry if people stop believing in you.”