A cross-section of Abuja residents on Saturday advised youths to shun internet fraud and acquire entrepreneurial skills to live a good life.
The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that doing legitimate businesses paid better than getting involved in dubious schemes.
Jones Odia, a resident, said entrepreneurial skills paid more than internet fraud, adding that all it takes to do a legitimate business is to be focussed and patient.
Odia said he chose to be involved in legitimate business regardless of his poor background because he wanted to impact positively on others.
“Currently, I run a fashion business and a fashion institute for people to be trained in the art of tailoring.
“As a youth, fashion was my escape from a world of peer pressure as my friends got into the darker side of life, doing drugs and committing crimes.
“In my neighborhood, I saw a lot of people who were my age mates got into drugs, some die, but I thank God for my dream to make people look good and that is what I am doing now,” he said.
Odia said he had always been allured by the fashion industry, even though he was a good footballer in the Pepsi Football Academy.
According to him, he left football and refused to bow to pressure from peer groups, adding that he pursued his passion for fashion and today he is a better person.
Odia advised the youth to be focused and pursue their dreams. He also urged them to avoid peer pressure and embrace any skill of their choice to live a good life.
Victor Onwuchekwa, a veterinarian and agro-based businessman, said he knew exactly what he wanted from the moment he got his NYSC allowance.
“I used my NYSC allowance to repay a loan I took up to establish my business and that was how I started,” he said.
According to him, what supported the growth of his business is good communication with customers and social media marketing which is responsible for more than 60 percent of his customers and referrals.
“I advise the youth to use their time to market their products on various social media platforms rather than engaging in fraud.
“I do a lot of marketing on my social media accounts and 60 per cent of my customer base is online, so I just deliver to them and referrals have been an important aspect of my growth too.
“As a youth, we all have our dreams and aspirations, go for your dreams, be focused, and avoid getting fast money, this is what leads people into fraud,” he said.
Oluwapelumi Ogah, a student and a makeup artist, advised the youth to reverence God and stop all forms of dubious businesses as they do not glorify God.
She said any youth with the fear of God would not go into fraud of any kind, rather they would acquire skills to be good ambassadors of Christ and their country.
Ogah said she started the makeup business during one of the strikes embarked upon by the Academy Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) and ever since had never regretted the bold step she took.
“I didn’t initially have a passion for make-up, but I needed to do something for myself and now I have progressed and grown in my skill.
“I made a lot of friends and customers that helped spread the word about my skill. Life is not all about money, there is much more to life, so we should be grateful to God,“ she said.
She advised anyone that would like to acquire any skill to do it with a purpose and enjoy what they do.
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