We have hardly had bulk money in our lives. We have hardly had enough before we started anything in life including when we decided to get married during my National Youth Service Year.
We have learnt to function at our own pace, in our on space and in our own way. This project has been on for years using the small resources that come our way and maximizing the neglected opportunities around us. Some of the things we sell and produce are things you don’t expect people like my wife and I to do.
Yesterday, the plantain we harvested was used to prepare plantain chips for sale in our school. We made coconut candy from our coconut trees. We have reared poultry birds for sale this Christmas season. I’m currently buying goats one at a time to rear.
There were times people compared us with others but our focus was on ourselves and our long-term plans. The immediate mockery was not compared to the future glory we were seeing. We practiced fitness for purpose according to Okeya Igho.
What and how we started might not be the best, might not be comparable to our ‘competitors’, but we concentrated on the essentials, added more efforts to satisfy our clients and got unique selling points. There are times you must have to work hard.
We refused to be pushed by our bankers to take loans to move at a faster pace. There was a time they referred to a young man who they gave a loan to build a business. He grew rapidly but the loan has crippled his business and marriage; he is a shadow of himself now. The loan has grown to more than 100 Million Naira.
My father always warned me not to leave debts for my children at death. It is not all that glitters that is gold. Looks, size, statistics can be deceptive and fake.
We are not owing any bank. We have not raised funds to build this school. Though we are going to need partners after now to build the tertiary institution, we have demonstrated a principle that works at this level in a suburban Nigerian community.
We depend on our cooperatives for loans because we have collateral there. We have also had good friends who were very kind to us. Chuma Okorafor, Evans Daniels and Ego Daniels, Vero John-Ezeh, Emmanuel Tuesday Yogoi, Kingsley Ojie, Bishop John A. U Aruakpor, Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, Senior Pastor, House of Praise, Warri, Rev Festus, George Moghalu, and a host of my dear friends who we will recognize on my 60th Birthday, 27th April, 2019.
One other thing that helped us was trust capital. If you have integrity, you can leverage on trust capital. People can supply you goods trusting you will pay. That has been a major part of our story. We want to use this medium thank Joseph Ndife, MD Jaclux Paints for supplying the paints for this phase.
Another aspect is to stay together as a couple. You must avoid adultery as a husband. Let your wife trust you; treat her like a partner; marry her as a unique person not according to church perceptions or the way people expect you to.
We have ensured we don’t owe workers’ salaries for the past 30 years of doing business. That makes them want to help you grow.
God bless the members of Staff of Petra Christian Academy, Ughelli.
We have learnt to live a very frugal life far below our means. It has not been easy but we are not distressed.
There is something called eustress—it is the manageable an motivational stress that wakes you up to fulfill your destiny.
Your own testimony shall be greater than this in Jesus Name. Amen.
God Bless You.