By Jerry Aguigbo
The COVID-19 pandemic brought an untold hardship to many but some other, it is a blessing in the real sense of it.
Meet Nonso Agomuah, a young graduate bouyed by the restriction on movement placed on certain categories of people and cashing in on the vacuum created, the despatch arm of the logistics chain filled that void with tons of despatch and finished deliveries fully made.
According to Agomuah, “because of the pandemic, online trading has become the vogue and we are the intermediaries between the sellers and buyers.”
Further on, he says the despatch control business is not as complicated as thought, ” as Head of logistics, we liaise with other companies, like the transport companies, ABC, Chisco and others to pick and drop errands. Mine is to source for jobs, then I send the riders to despatch and we pay at the end of the Month, its as uncomplicated as this,” he stated.
On the challenges of the business, Agomuah explains, “for you to make profit, you must make at least 6 deliveries per day to cope. Some of the riders are rough on the road, some engage in side business, some connive with bike spare parts sellers to short change us of hard earned money.”
When asked if there is a way to control these riders, he was quick to explain that, ” there’s always a way around most problems, it is always good if you have riders who stay around you, that is people you can always see, we also have them fill a sort of indemnity form for us, we also obtain a fuel top up card for them, to ensure they have limited access to funds, in addition, we have designated points for parts, in all these cases, we liaise with the sellers and pay, the riders only pick when we are sure they need these things. ”
Asked if there is any form of synergy or corporation between those who engage in this despatch
logistics business, he says there a lot of networking,” in fact, to me synergy is the name of this business, when my riders are not available, you call in riders from other people, of course, their bosses arrange with us, you do not approach the riders directly.”
Agomuah was asked if there was a training programme for their riders, he says, ” we train but we are looking at incorporating these things but the most difficult thing is to work with people who are not educated, a rider has to be with you for up to 3 months before you do HMO and other benefits for them. ”
On the future of this business, he says, “we are working on having a Union, this is to stem disparity in pricing, we are registered by CAC, we are looking at incorporating all the benefits we can give to make our riders to be comfortable, if we have an association it will be very helpful to know how they being treated and the kind of treatment we get from them in return.”
He advised youths to engage in something meaningful, “the best way to succeed is by being self employed, they should start something, no matter how small, for themselves. The white collar jobs are not there any longer, even when you are employed by one, how much will you earn to make you comfortable?
Answering questions on what the business will become in a couple of years from now, Agomuah say, ” There is the the other side of this too, the physiological econometrics weighs you down sometimes but we cannot be pushed away by anybody, not even the government. We are a critical sector, we render essential services, we are useful to to the hospitals, hospitality industry and we are useful to everyone, ” he asserted.
The over 2000 strong entrepreneurs engaged in this lucrative delivery control business are certain their business will rather expand than shrink judging from the upsurge since the pandemic. “You are right, if you say we are a child of circumstance, it’s a child of necessity because so many people lost their businesses the beginning of COVID-19, Opay also had a set back, that was what we needed to move in, to ensure there was no vacuum, we are reaping from that move today, it is really good,” he concluded.