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For The Attention Of Alhaji Dahiru Bara’u Magal.

#Zulum238Projects #Term2 Focus: Education (54 Projects) Zulum's 5th year in office, consolidating on sterling 4 years of the first tenure. “1,195 Projects and Counting.” Series on 238 projects in the first year of the second tenure of Governor Zulum.

The heading of this article is not the usual ‘an open letter’ because I have written enough of the letters lately not to warrant another one immediately. That is why the heading reads the way it does. The explanation is necessary for the fastidious types, which many readers can be these days.
You are venturing into what appears to be a saturated market, but the potentials for the cement business and markets in Nigeria and the rest of Africa are limitless. The word ‘limitless’ is used for a better description of the possibilities.
For your cement company to compare and compete very well with the older brands, its quality must not only be up to the standards, but live up to the expectations of the users.
Already, the markets may seem saturated with various brands manufactured by the Dangotes, the BUAs, the Lafarges Africa (WAPCO) plc, the Ibetos Cement the United Cement Companys of Nigeria (UNICEM), and their types. Beside these, there are many of those who import cement into the country. But with your pedigree and quest for excellence, it is hoped that it would not take you long before you find your niche’ in your ‘new’ chosen business.
As important, is the fact that many of your to-be competitors in the cement business are also noted for the various assistance they give the federal government, the government of the state where they get the raw material and manufacture the product and, more so, their states of origin. These, they do in creating more employment opportunities for the citizens of the country, but particularly the states they come from.
It is a chance and a challenge for you to create many job opportunities for the people of your state of Katsina, especially in the field of education, so that in future it (the state) would assume its former status as the ‘home of education’ in the northern part of the country. At the moment, it is more popularly known as the home of something that is not complementary.
In particular, they give assistance in the education sector by building or mightily helping to build tertiary institutions, with bias on science and technology and a specific emphasis on Information technology, more popularly known as IT. They build many universities and other tertiary institutions in the states where they originate from.
You too should therefore build such institutions in your state. Where you cannot do it alone, then partner with another person or others to do so.
It is very important to give back to the society of one’s birth that which God Has made arm-fully available to them in material wealth.
Of course, you are noted for your humanitarian assistance, especially in terms of feeding the poor in your state and other places. Please, do more of same, since God Has given you the means and in the very near future more means.
You already have the MAX Air to your burgeoning business portfolio. The MAX Air is the airline of choice for the annual airlift of Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for most states in the north and Abuja. The airline also serves as many places for the periodic Umrah trip to the same destination.
There are also your rice mill and the fertilisers blending plant cited in your birth town of Katsina, and God-knows-where else, in addition to your other businesses in many parts of the world, all of which give huge employment and other opportunities to the people of Katsina state and beyond.
Your foray into the world of cement production is another gigantic step in getting more global recognition as a business mogul of note. And this will attract more people who would want to not only do business with you, but also to be seen to be doing business with you.
The cement business, though in demand globally and therefore lucrative, is not for the business person who count his pennies, and you are not known to be one, but for those who are free with their money like there is no tomorrow, which you are known for.
Almost finally, as an old hand in the business world, you know the importance of keeping your eyes on your staff while they are at work. You may even employ the ‘third eye’ in monitoring the staff and what goes on around your companies, especially the new venture. The competitors would not welcome you into the business with open arms, you have to make your way by means that are fair and square.
Above all, you must prepare yourself for a mighty battle with the competition because some of them may try, either directly by using the so called third eye or by using your staff, to sabotage you and your efforts. They may not be doing anything different, because that is also part of business. Therefore, be warned.
Whatever you do or whatever fortune comes your way, always remember the people of your home state and its neighbours, even though it is often said that in business, not unlike in politics, there are no friends or foes, only self or business interests. Nevertheless, when the proverbial chips are down, do what Malam Aminu Kano of blessed memory would say. As is often said on these shores (I do not know if it is a real English phrase or just a Nigerianese), ‘if you know you know’, and if you do not, it was your business.
I rest my case with that, as the lawyers would say in court after they have delivered their offence or defence before a judge.
Malam Malumfashi wrote from Abuja.

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