Mr Kingsley ude is a Nigerian crayfish and stockfish trader in Kado fish market located in Jabi, Abuja.
Prior to this, he entered a 5 yr contract with his boss who is an importer of motor parts, the deal was that he will be settled with a substantial amount to start his own motor parts business. However, tragedy struck, his boss was duped during a transaction in Japan, this led to the sack of 17 of his boys including Mr Ude.
I had to start life from a scratch when all hope was lost, with the little I saved,I purchased a motorcycle and started to transport passengers(okada rider), Daily Trust reports.
“I made a profit of N6000 and used it as capital to start my business in 1999.
“I bought a milling machine at N1200, a bag of garri for N300, a bag of long grain rice for N1700, a bag of short-grain rice N1700, measuring plates of different sizes, and I constructed a wooden table.”
From selling off a table under the scorching sun in Kado Fish Market, Ude moved under a shade and then into a shop when the market was built.
Mr. Kingsley Ude never looked back when he decided to go into food business.
Before Mr Kingsley Ude’s crayfish and stockfish trade turned him into a successful merchant, it suffered a period of neglect, but today he is counting in millions.
Stockfish business is so lucrative that every part of the fish is sold separately at different costs.
“A bag filled with only heads of stock fish is sold at N85,000 while one with only bones of stock fish goes for N75,000.
“The cost of 2kg of deboned is N18,500 each, and a bag of the fleshed called cod costs N480,000.
“I was able to send all my younger ones to school; in fact, this business helped me sponsor one of my younger brothers to Germany.
“I was able to afford a car, built my house and got married.
“Today, I train my children and take care of my family comfortably from this business.
“What else do I need in life?”
While describing how the pandemic has affected his business, Mr Ude said both purchase and selling price has skyrocketed.
“Lots of my customers no longer have purchasing power.
“Having built a customer relationship over the years, I have Identified my real customers and assist them until they can afford to pay.
“A single head of stockfish once sold at N500 now costs N800.
“Also, a bag of crayfish, formerly N65,000 is now N90,000, while a boned bag of stock fish that used to be worth N43,000, now costs N75,000.
“A bag that contains only the heads previously N62,000 is currently N85,000.
“When I started, a bag of stockfish was between N700 to N1000.
“People didn’t even buy the bones or head, but now those rejected parts are sought after because people are looking for what they can afford.”
Two weeks ago, Mr Ude ordered and paid for over ten bags of stockfish from Aba and his goods are yet to arrive Abuja.
He attributed the delay to the interstate lockdown and said when lockdown is completely relaxed, it would mark an end to the outrageous extortions on the highway and the cost of transporting goods will be back to normal.
This will make the selling price fair enough for every buyer.