How I started my business investment in 1971 – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said he made his first business move in 1971 by acquiring four pick-up vans under a hire-purchase agreement with a motor distributor company to start a transport business in Lagos.

According to his media office, the former Vice President made the revelation on Thursday night at InterContinental Hotel in Lagos after receiving the Honourary Achiever Award at the Africa’s Youth Entrepreneurs Conference and Award titled “A Stand With The Giants.”

Dedicating the award, as Honourary African Outstanding Entrepreneur, to Nigerian youth, Mr. Abubakar urged the youth to have more drive towards entrepreneurship.

“I came to Lagos on June 29, 1969 and after my two years training (with the Nigeria Customs Service); I was posted to the border station of Idi-Iroko. At that time, the Badagry Road had not been constructed and the only means of transportation to the rest of the West African corridor was through the Idi-Iroko border to what used to be called Dahomey and what is now known as Benin Republic.

“On getting to Idi-Iroko, my first posting, I was not married and what I discovered was that the most promising business was transportation. Many pickup vans were transporting women traders from Ajase (Port Novo) to Lagos every morning, and every evening from Lagos back to Port Novo.

“So I asked myself, how I can seize the opportunity of this moving business. I came over to Lagos and in those days SCOA were the sole distributors of Peugeot, so I went to SCOA and I signed a hire-purchase agreement and bought four of those pickups and gave them to four different drivers and every day they will bring their returns to me and at the end of the month, I will go to SCOA and pay them.

“I wasn’t married, so my salary was intact and in addition I was saving from what I was getting from my transport business. So, sometime, to be an entrepreneur you must have the ingenuity to be an entrepreneur.”

Mr. Abubakar said Nigeria’s education system in the early 1960s provided the Nigerian youths opportunities to make diverse carrier choice.

According to the former Vice President, “the educational system we operated in the First Republic provided our students then the opportunity to either go to universities or go to technical colleges or to go to crafts schools. There was never a dropout in that kind of educational system. The dullest was trained on a skill and given the capital to start a business.”

He however lamented that “suddenly, Nigeria moved away from that to a system of education where you train only job seekers.”

He said the products of this educational system do not know how to do anything else other than to seek for jobs, adding that they cannot self-employ themselves. “So, what I am trying to say is that my Nigeria is possible and your own Nigeria is possible”, he said.

The former Vice President urged the youth to take advantage of the rebound in railway infrastructure that was built by the last administration to start a business initiative of transportation of goods across the country and reduce the reliance on heavy duty trucks to convey those goods.

He paid tributes to music art youngster, Wizkid for his besting some of the greatest in the industry to clinch the Best International Act at the MOBO awards.

“Wizkid’s international award is a victory for Nigeria. Art is important not only for the revenue it brings and the business around it but for the image of our country. A good image has the capacity to trigger investments. The investments will generate much needed jobs. The jobs will not only ensure the security of families but the security of our nation and engender progress and development”, he said.


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  • persona

    1-The illegality of Atiku didn’t waste any time. He was doing business alongside official government business…against the rules.
    2- How would he then do his job in fairness when he has vested interest and his vehicles were used to ferry illegal products?
    Atiku is a man that knows how to exploit the system and not contribute to it.
    His former boss OBJ knows him too well.
    PT, una dey do the work dem pay una for. Launder Atiku as much as you can…Nigerians will decide at the polls.

    • Obviously, his pick-ups were used to smuggle goods across the boarders while he and his colleagues doing similar business turned blind eye. As it was then so it is now. Nigeria has known corruption long long time.

      • ewucanbeer

        Atiku was NOT in Customs in 1971 you cum shot!

  • He however lamented that “suddenly, Nigeria moved away from that to a system of education where you train only job seekers.”
    He said the products of this educational system do not know how to do anything else other than to seek for jobs, adding that they cannot self-employ themselves. “So, what I am trying to say is that my Nigeria is possible and your own Nigeria is possible”, he said.

    This is a ridiculous statement by Atiku. This man does not deserve to even contest the presidency. From his testimony, he was first employed into Customs before he went into transport business. SCOA would have considered his secured job with Customs as assurance of repayment before releasing 4 vehicles to him on hire-purchase agreement. The only difference between then and now is that people like Atiku have corrupted the system so much that young people no longer have the kind of opportunities people in Atiku’s time had. Atiku is unfit for the office of Nigeria president. He should just concentrate on his businesses he founded on illegality.

    • ewucanbeer

      And Obasanjo was fit? This is a bastard who recommended using juju on Apartheid South Africa! fetish yorobastards!

  • Mosley

    We need a successful businessman at the helm of affairs instead of rotating failed old retired opportunistic military officers.

    • kinsly

      Yes but not a thief.

    • tundemash

      And i guess those “successful” businessmen need failed poor people like you to hail them and vote for them. WHat a d@ft !

      • whereto

        Is it not illegal for a civil servant to be involved in business? Besides, there is a possible conflict of interest as well. If his vehicles were ferrying passengers across the Benin republic border, who would have checked them? Perhaps Atiku himself? This Atiku man is digging while standing in a hole.

  • Kekedu

    I dey laugh – OBJ

  • Lanre Martins

    Thief Thief Thief….God go punish you. How much did you steal from Customs????/

  • David Adeniran

    This man should quietly retire from politics before his chicken come home to roast!

  • Hire purchase in whatever form is Haram.

  • thusspokez

    Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said he made his first business move in 1971 by acquiring four pick-up vans under a hire-purchase agreement with a motor distributor company to start a transport business in Lagos.

    four pick-up vans”? This was not what he said 10 years or so ago, I think he said he bought a house and then another house…in his state. I read that version on nigerianvillagesquarecom back then. I hope someone finds it.

    Was Atiku not an early pioneer of bribe-taking and other forms of corruption at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)? At a time when even the Nigerian police force was relatively clean, custom officers were extremely corrupt, particularly those at ports. They enriched themselves by demanding bribes — as they probably still do to this day.

  • thusspokez

    BREAKING NEWS

    FOUND “How I Made My Money – Atiku”

    DATE : Saturday, 08 July 2006
    website: http://www..nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/how-i-made-my-money-atiku-explains.html

    (Pardon me for posting the length)

    Forwarded by Phil Tam-Al Alalibo

    Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has attributed his substantial personal wealth to his passion for entrepreneurship, wise investments, hard work and luck.In his most detailed response to date to questions about his source of wealth, Atiku revealed in his newly published authorised biography, Atiku: The Story of Atiku Abubakar, that he made his money in real estate, farming, trading and oil servicing.

    Atiku said while he was building a network of powerful contacts, he was also busy creating the wealth that could make him a force to be reckoned with. He recognised very early in life that he had a good nose for business, according to the book by Adinoyi-Ojo Onukaba, a close friend of Atiku since 1984.

    Atiku’s foray into the real estate, the book says, began in 1974 when as a young Customs officer he got a Federal Staff Housing Loan amounting to N31,000 which was the equivalent of his salary for five years. With this money, Atiku applied to the Gongola State government for a plot of land at Yola Government Reserved Area (GRA) and he was given.

    He hired a foreman and began building his first house. With close personal supervision, the bungalow was completed on time and to his taste, and he rented it out immediately.The up-front rent he collected was substantial enough to purchase a second plot and begin work on a second house in the same area.He completed it and rented it out again.

    According to the account in the book, the vice-president kept plowingploughing the rent back into new building projects and within a few years, he had built eight houses in choice areas of Yola. “He became a powerful landlord in Yola, making a lot of money annually from rent,” the book says.

    When he arrived in Kaduna in 1980, Atiku repeated the same feat and ended up with over half a dozen property in the city. In 1981, Atiku also went into large-scale farming to augment his income from public service. He started the Gesse Derdirabe Farm on 2,500 hectares of land off Yola – Numan Road with a bank loan. He grew maize and cotton, becoming the largest maize farmer in the whole of the old Gongola State. The farm produced about 10,000 bags of maize a year.

    In addition to farming, Atiku was buying and selling trailer loads of rice, sugar and flour during his spare time. He was one of the first Nigerians to venture into China, importing green tea from the communist country for sale in Nigeria. The book says Atiku also went into oil servicing business. With foreign partners, he started a small oil logistics company from a container office called the Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES) and located at Apapa. The company was later renamed Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) with the late Shehu Musa Yar Adua as one its directors.

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    The conman just secured a management job for his daughter at the CBN through a process that was not advertised leaving out the vast majority of youths without a fighting chance for the plum job. This liar is one of what ails the nation and should be silenced this time with an absolute rejection.

  • thusspokez

    BREAKING NEWS !!!

    FOUND “How I Made My Money – Atiku”

    DATE : Saturday, 08 July 2006
    website: www
    .nigeriavillagesquarecom/articles/how-i-made-my-money-atiku-explainshtml

    Note: Replace with “.”

    (Pardon me for posting this lengthy review)

    Forwarded by Phil Tam-Al Alalibo

    Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has attributed his substantial personal wealth to his passion for entrepreneurship, wise investments, hard work and luck.In his most detailed response to date to questions about his source of wealth, Atiku revealed in his newly published authorised biography, Atiku: The Story of Atiku Abubakar, that he made his money in real estate, farming, trading and oil servicing.

    Atiku said while he was building a network of powerful contacts, he was also busy creating the wealth that could make him a force to be reckoned with. He recognised very early in life that he had a good nose for business, according to the book by Adinoyi-Ojo Onukaba, a close friend of Atiku since 1984.

    Atiku’s foray into the real estate, the book says, began in 1974 when as a young Customs officer he got a Federal Staff Housing Loan amounting to N31,000 which was the equivalent of his salary for five years. With this money, Atiku applied to the Gongola State government for a plot of land at Yola Government Reserved Area (GRA) and he was given.

    He hired a foreman and began building his first house. With close personal supervision, the bungalow was completed on time and to his taste, and he rented it out immediately.The up-front rent he collected was substantial enough to purchase a second plot and begin work on a second house in the same area.He completed it and rented it out again.

    According to the account in the book, the vice-president kept plowingploughing the rent back into new building projects and within a few years, he had built eight houses in choice areas of Yola. “He became a powerful landlord in Yola, making a lot of money annually from rent,” the book says.

    When he arrived in Kaduna in 1980, Atiku repeated the same feat and ended up with over half a dozen property in the city. In 1981, Atiku also went into large-scale farming to augment his income from public service. He started the Gesse Derdirabe Farm on 2,500 hectares of land off Yola – Numan Road with a bank loan. He grew maize and cotton, becoming the largest maize farmer in the whole of the old Gongola State. The farm produced about 10,000 bags of maize a year.

    In addition to farming, Atiku was buying and selling trailer loads of rice, sugar and flour during his spare time. He was one of the first Nigerians to venture into China, importing green tea from the communist country for sale in Nigeria. The book says Atiku also went into oil servicing business. With foreign partners, he started a small oil logistics company from a container office called the Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES) and located at Apapa. The company was later renamed Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) with the late Shehu Musa Yar Adua as one its directors.

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    Mr. Atiku, you are now dealing with Nigerians of the 21st century globalized world. You can’t be clever by half. Tell us the truth and nothing but the truth. You must have been using the “four pick-up vans” for a smuggling network through the borders, under the cover of your position as a custom officer, thus making stupendous money illegally. Nigerians are no more fools. I wish one of our news media organisations, like PT, will take the challenge of digging out the truth, through investigative journalism.

  • Berol Mahmud

    Atiku Atiku Atiku !!! Property development in yola in 70’s can’t justify what you’re claiming, you had a single house in yola before your turbaning as turakin adamawa in 1982. You acquired the rest after your disengagement from custom service late 80’s precisely from 89. We know it all, you can tell and say it to outsiders, but not defunct gongola indigenes

  • Adam A

    This thief at it again. Why didn’t u ask ur daughter u secured job at cbn last year to go into entrepreneurship.

    • John Abayomi

      hahahahahaha……………you nailed it! hahahahahahahaha

    • Fulani Nomad

      Our his daughter, the commissioner of health in Adamawa State to run a private hospital business.

  • Berol Mahmud

    Haba atiku, there was no gongola state in 1974, it was northeastern state, moreover, yola and it’s environs by then can’t accommodate your story, because where you had your first house was a thick forest by then, you know deep inside your heart. For your farm situated along numan road, where your feed mill is presently situated, it had never produced 1,000 bags of grains since you acquired it. We all know what goes around with our public servants, just come to terms with your past, there wasn’t any ingenuity in you as an entrepreneur that you claimed

    • Holy truth

      Thank u 4 busting his bubbles of lies

  • Tony

    So after the four pickup vans….we’re all ears…

  • Emeka

    Atiku! You are absolutely shameless in your act of lying… Please save us this moonlight stories, which we call in Igbo parlance “mbejewe, ajambene.”

  • ima

    With all his cars and years of service Agofure motors is still a mini millionaire. I hear u.

  • Zirem

    What is shameless is when some comments here feels like they have been written even before this piece was written. I read what the piece and came to comment and was baffled by the comments that I had to go back to the piece and read again, but I guess we are just as good as the information we are being fed. I thought it was impressive that his 1st attempt in the business world was that early and that one’s 1st business attempt might not necessarily be successful , but you don’t stop. Thank you AA for your wise words as always.

  • Pawa2

    Surely, for a custom officer to be carrying people and goods across an international border he was employed to guard must be a conflict of interest.

    • John A

      Did you read the what he said or you lack the capacity to understand his words?

      • Pawa2

        Did you read the article? You definitely lack the capacity to read and understand English.

        • John A

          Carrying people and goods across an international border is not a criminal offence, so what are your points?

          • Pawa2

            You clearly do not know what conflict of interest means.

          • John A

            He was hired to guide the border against illegal translations, There are legitimate business taking place at every border post.
            There is no conflict of interest.

          • Pawa2

            You know nothing or you are insincere, yet you are trying to talk with authority. I feel demeaned exchanging views with someone like you. Now CLEAR OFF.

  • SkyAboveLimits

    Atiku Atiku!!
    Atiku is seriously atiku-lating for 2019. The media is now awash with atiku stories all of a sudden… erhm.. erhm…

    Now to the transport business story…
    Was a custom officer permitted by the rules to run such a business? especially one that could easily be influenced by your vantage position as a customs officer, sometimes at the detriment of the government or even the competitors of your time. I’m not sure what operated then, but you can only venture into Agric-related (plant/livestock) business as a government employee of today.

    Atiku should dissipate his ill-gotten wealth (except he can swear he hasn’t used his various positions of service to swindle us) on writing an autobiography and we will buy but we can’t just buy this as a campaign strategy. We just find it hard and bitter to swallow.

    Finally, picking the message and dumping the means…entrepreneurship is the way today, the jobs are no more there, thanks to leaders like Atiku.

    I hope he gives it all the publicity it requires when he starts sharing money in preps for 2019. At least, media go chop and some citizen will recoup some of their stolen heritage.