BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: GOAT BUTCHERS

The aim of every business is to make profit and have a means of viable livelihood for sustainable development; hence no business should be underrated or ignored provided it is legitimate. Our feature for this edition is focused on goat butchers at Ika South Council behind Federal Fire Service Office by Orogodo River, Agbor. The two butchers, Mr. John Okafor and Mr. Ndubueze Nworie, both from Amuri Community in Nkanu LGA of Enugu State during a visit to the abattoir, on Monday August, 21 2017 by Ika Weekly Newspaper reporter, the duo spoke extensively on how they got into the business, the challenges and other interesting revelations.
Excerpt:
CAN WE MEET YOU SIR.
My name is Mr. John Okafor
WHEN DID YOU COME TO AGBOR?
I came to Agbor, in 1990 through my elder brother Mr. Umezuruike Okafor, who is a butcher by profession. Upon my arrival to Agbor, I started working with him here being the main abattoir then in Agbor, I worked with him for almost five years before I started my own business in 1996. That my brother Umezuruike, is still alive and in the profession at the garage market in Boji-Boji Owa. We are aware that during the early Eighties, they used this abbatoir for cows and goats,
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO CONTINUE WITH THE SLAUGHTERING OF GOATS INSTEAD OF COWS?
I decided to remain with goat because that is the one I understand very well.
HOW HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU STARTED THE BUSINESS?
Thanks be to God, because it is through the business I got married, had two children that I am training and I am still surviving through the business; though I lost my wife three years ago.
SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR WIFE. WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING IN THE BUSINESS?
In any business, there are always the good and the bad times, we thank God who made it possible that we are still in the business up till this time
APART FROM THIS BUSINESS, WHICH OTHER BUSINESS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?
It is only this business that I am into
HOW IS THE LEVEL OF PATRONAGE?
Customers do come, but sometimes we find it difficult having them around. It is usually during festive periods like Christmas season that we smile very well.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE HUGE TURNOUT THEN?
We usually solicit for more hands during such periods.
DO YOU HAVE PERSONS THAT YOU HAVE TRAINED ON THE JOB?
Yes, quite a number of them. Some of them have travelled overseas for greener pastures while some are managing their individual businesses in the same trade.
HOW MANY ARE THEY?
They are up to ten boys
HOW ARE YOU PEOPLE COPING IN THIS PERIOD OF ECONOMIC RECESSION, DO CUSTOMERS COME TO BUY?
It has not been encouraging, but customers are still coming, though most of our customers are hoteliers.
IN WHICH AREA WOULD YOU WANT GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST YOU IF POSSIBLE?
We will be very grateful, if the government can assist us with loan, to enable us buy the goats in large quantities and sell to the public.
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO CUT THE MEAT TO SIZES AND MAKE PROFITS?
Well, sometimes we make profit, while on some other occasions, we find it difficult to realize our cost price; but we are not deterred.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS WHO USUALLY BUY THE PRODUCTS ON CREDIT?
There is no business without credit facilities, as a business man, you must bear that aspect of debts from your customers, however, the problem is if the debt is too much, the businessman will liquidate; but in a situation where one buys and make some part payments, we can cope.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO THE YOUTHS THAT ARE WAITING FOR GOVERNMENT JOBS?
They should learn a trade and work hard, no good thing ever come easily. It is unfortunate that most youths of today do not want to work hard but they want to drive big cars and stay in mansions; they are looking for quick money. I urge them to be involved in viable things to do in order for them to be useful in the society.
In a related development, Mr. Ndubueze Nworie also from Amuri Community in Nkanu LGA of Enugu State talked about his own experience.
WHEN DID YOU COME TO AGBOR?
I came to Agbor in 1991 through my elder brother, late Mr. Emeke Nworie, who was into cow business at Musa Slaughter before his death. I worked with him for four years until when he died, after which I came to this place. Though I did not continue with the killing of cows, I continued with the killing of goats.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE BUSINESS?
I appreciate the business; I married my wife and had my children while in the business. I don’t have any regret that is why I am still involved in it.
HAVE YOU TRAINED ANYBODY IN THE BUSINESS?
Yes, I have trained more than seven boys on the trade, one of them who is now in Europe was here during the Christmas season last year and bought drinks for everybody that were around during the visit.
HOW WOULD YOU WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST YOU?
We will appreciate it most, if the state government can give us loan to enable us buy the goats in large quantity and be selling to the public, so that we will not be buying the goats on credit from their owners.
DO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES DISTURB YOU HERE?
No, they don’t usually disturb us.
IN THIS RAINY SEASON, HOW DO YOU COPE WHEN IT IS RAINING AND YOU HAVE YOUR CUSTOMERS AROUND?
We usually plead with them to wait inside the little kiosk that is here till when the rain subsides or stop for us to attend to them. The rain usually affects our business when it is falling continuously.
HOW MANY GOATS DO YOU USUALLY KILL ON DAILY BASIS?
On a very good day, when there is business, we kill up to seven goats.
APART FROM CUSTOMERS BRINGING THEIR GOATS HERE FOR YOU TO SLAUGHTER FOR THEM, DO YOU ALSO GO TO THEIR HOMES ON REQUEST FOR SUCH SERVICES?
Yes.
HOW DO YOU ROAST YOUR GOATS, IS IT WITH TYRES?
We don’t use tyres to roast our goats; we use fire wood and water from a nearby borehole at Acha Slaughter to wash the goats.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE A CUSTOMER AFTER HELPING THEM TO KILL THEIR GOATS?
We charge between N700 to N1000 to kill, roast and wash a goat, also from the money we settle the boys who work with us.
DO YOU FEEL FULFILLED WITH THE JOB?
The business is quite challenging but we are fulfilled.

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