A Business Education graduate identified as Ogbogi Maddock Ariwera, who grew tired of umemployment, has retired to his village and devoted his time to palm oil milling business in Otuoke, the country home of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state.
In an exclusive report by Naij.com, Ogbogi, who graduated in 2010, said he had searched for jobs for the past eight years but all his efforts had proved fatally abortive, so he resorted to operating a palm oil milling machine in the community to support his family.
Speaking to a correspondent, he said after his graduation, he could not secure any job in either the government or private sector, hence he had no option but to return to his palm oil milling business in the rural community which he used to do some years ago.
“Many people have oil palm plantations, so I help them to mill the oil for them. We are managing from it. But the only thing is that there is no help from anybody to lift our business,” he said.
On how he was making money from it before he left for school but on return, found it difficult to make ends meet, he said: “I was getting money reasonably from it before I left for higher school. After graduation where I studied Business Education, I have never seen work to do, so I fell back to my oil mill business. But now we are not making much money because we do not have support from anywhere.”
As part of strategies to meet up with his family demands, he said he is also involved in plantain and cassava production, adding that the crops – plantain, cassava, banana and palm oil – are the major crops the community and are easy for them to manage.
He said people come from everywhere, including Port Harcourt, Yenagoa and other places to buy the products, adding that food is expensive in the area because “the quantity we produce is not enough to go round. There is no support from government. That is why our production is very low and the price is high.”
He added that the only cooperative they are involved in is a communal cooperative. This, according to him, is where a group of farmers form a cooperative and organize themselves to help a particular farmer to weed and clear all the bushes and then move to the farm of the other on a rotational basis.
He said: “The only cooperative we have is the one of we organizing ourselves to help one farmer today and tomorrow we help the other until it goes round, then we start again from the first person.
“That is we go to work in the farm of each other. All of us go to the bush to farm for one person, sometimes we go one to one person’s farm for up to three days, then we go to the other having finished that one. This is the only cooperative we have.
“We have tried government, they don’t pay us. When it’s time to bring the money they hand it over to politicians. We applied and we heard the money came but it was shared to politicians.
“Our representatives give the money to people that are very close to them and abandon others who are not in their camps. We are still begging government to assist us.”