I am very happy to welcome ROLU network members to the month of July. So far, so good! We thank God for keeping us safe to see the beginning of another month, the seventh in the year. We are grateful that in all these months, we were not afflicted by any serious conditions of depravity, either in health or want that we could not manage. But as the saying goes, those the gods have favoured must always try to help themselves. Some say: Heaven helps those who help themselves. At ROLU we are almost like family now. We are business associates and so, we must look out for each other. That is what makes business seamless and smooth. We must keep our trust intact and guard it jealously, to succeed.
Before his exit at 10 pm on Sunday 19 November 2017, elder statesman and former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme, very eloquently highlighted what he said would possibly be the problem with our people if we were not careful. Dr Ekwueme who was addressing a Traders’ Summit in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra state noted that one of the most important attributes of our people which anchored on their trust for each other had gone with the winds since the end of the Nigerian civil war and warned that once our people lack trust among themselves, it would be difficult to make progress.
Dr Ekwueme recalled that our people prided themselves on their level of unity before independence and immediately after independence. He extolled our people as the most important of God’s creations, “after the white man”. God had a very soft spot in His heart for our people and endowed them with great intellect. We have been all over the country as teachers, traders, businessmen and women, merchants, hotel owners, shop owners, private school owners, farmers, doctors, lawyers, transporters and so on. We were in Nigeria then, what Asians are in Britain today. We were all over the place, manning all the sensitive positions. And nothing went wrong because we trusted ourselves and had confidence in our capabilities.
Then came the evil days when kleptocracy slipped into our system and rogue politicians found their way into government. We saw them cater billions of naira with impunity which they fritted away into foreign bank accounts. They began to mastermind a social system of two classes of very rich and very poor families. The country fell in one swoop from the oil rich nation it was reputed to be, to the cradle of poverty around the world. We lost dignity. We lost trust. We lost everything that distinguished us from the rest of the suffering world. Many of us, concerned citizens, wondered if we would ever regain our lost glory in our life time.
But as sure as the run rises after a dark night, digital economy is gradually but steadily bringing us back to our senses. We cannot go back on that now.
When things were normal, there was so much trust and unity among our people, such that once our leaders met and took a decision, every person would abide by it. The trust among our people was the reason apprenticeship became popular with us. The result was that parents would allow their children to stay with an established business man to learn a trade for periods ranging from two to five years, after which the apprentice would then be settled to start his own business. Even after the settlement, the newly settled young trader would continue to get goods on credit from his former master and return the money after sale, because of the trust that existed.
Lack of trust nearly diminished that age long cooperation between the master and his former apprentice, which was very worrisome. And so, the main problem our people will encounter in digital economy is lack of trust. If the trust is not there, nothing can work for any foreseeable future. If we can continue to rebuild trust among ourselves, our people will be better for it.
That said, I would like to remind all network members that our social media forums are being grossly underused. What we expect is that all businesses listed on ROLU magazine website would be able to advertise their products and services on our Group WhatsApp and Group Face Book forums at least two or three times every week. It is obvious that people can get to know about your business or service only by chance if you are not advertising. The more you advertise, the more people notice your presence and the more they are likely to engage you in business.
A cursory look at the data we have on ROLU website shows that the bigger companies are the ones making better use of our facilities to attract customers to their businesses. On the one hand, a company like Jeniebenie Limited of Lekki, Lagos has 1,015 visitors on its site as of 28 June. Jessi-Jen Pharmacy and Supermarket of Abuja has 1,046 visitors. Camela Vegetable Oil of Owerri has 1,576. V-tals Integrated Business Ltd of Owerri has 1,414 visitors. Vinal Aluminum Products Ltd of Irette has 2,425 visitors. Ifex Express Courier of London has 2,517 visitors. Max Aluminum Company Ltd of Owerri-Port Harcourt Road has 2,944 visitors.
On another level, Kay Realtors of Egbeada, Owerri has 233 visitors. Udefi & Chibuike Properties Ltd of Enugu has 342 visitors. A-Top Technical Nigeria Ltd of Port Harcourt has 397 visitors. Sandhaul Nigeria Ltd of Owerri has 698 visitors. Ugo Best Hair of Owerri has 462 visitors. Groovy Chic Cosmetics & Fashion of Owerri has 427 visitors. Diala Kiddies of Owerri has 530 visitors. Damien Justice & Company has 405 visitors. Emma Global Links Business Venture has 362 visitors. Nathan’s Superior Dry Cleaning has 516 visitors. Oviation Bridal Events has 417 visitors. Adrano Global Services has 409 visitors. Grace Link Communications has 362 visitors. Prestige Photo Ltd of Owerri has 376 visitors. Mandihomes Nigeria Ltd of Lagos has 238 visitors and Monique Textiles UK, London has 286 visitors.
Two very important facts emerge from this data. First is that it is now obvious that the more network members advertise in our social media forums, the more people notice their presence and the more likely they are to be engaged in business. So, you don’t just go to bed or relax because you now have your business listed on ROLU website or on the internet. The conditions call for hard work. The result is, the more you work, the more you get paid. It is not possible for the staffs at ROLU to do the duties of network members for them. You have to think of new designs for your product, take new pictures of products, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to load them on to our group social media forums.
The second fact borders on what some members use as excuse for delaying payment of their annual dues. Some argue that they have not got even one customer from ROLU magazine. So, how can they possibly pay? But I put it to them that it is a lame excuse. If you have about 200 visitors on your site, at least five out of the 200 visitors would have done business with you. The fact that we all know and must accept is that when a customer comes to buy from you, it is not a normal habit to ask from whom or where he got information about your business. No business man is likely to ask such a question. He would rather welcome the customer and wait for him to start business talk, like ‘how much is this material?’ And no customer is likely to tell you, a network member, that he saw your business on ROLU website before coming to buy from you. So, those who keep telling us they have not got even one customer from us should stop that cheap lie. We are trained and we know how online business works. In one case, I told a member that since she was not getting customers from us, we should delete her business from our website and she said “no, no please”. I said why, you said you were not getting customers? She said OK please send me the company bank account detail. I sent it to her, and that was the end of the story. Even as I write this, she has not paid a penny.
So, that brings us to the fact that our removal of non-financial members will start at the end of June, in two days. If you still want to be part of us in 2023 and beyond, please go now and pay into the UBA Account No. 10 18 95 64 51 of Reach-Out & Link-Up Ltd unless you want to bow out and of course we won’t stop you. If there is anything you don’t understand or want to discuss, you can call our London office on +4477 2411 3404 or WhatsApp +4477 1620 1687.
On a final note many young people always want to advertise how they became rich through ritual sacrifice. Everyone should bear in mind that ROLU magazine is based on Christian values and is backed up by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Communions. I am sure that there are ailments those native doctors can cure. We might give them a chance to advertise those if they pay their annual dues. But we will not advertise anything about ritual money making in ROLU. I am sorry about that. But that is our policy.
Thank you for your understanding.
Chief Sir Emeka Asinugo, KSC