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ASUU Strike: UI Students Begin Jobs, Establish Small Scale Businesses

“Personal growth, idleness, and passion for advertising” were what prompted Fatunase Ayomide, a 300-L University of Ibadan Student of Economics, to take up a full-time job at Folumedia, an enterprise that specialises in media, advertising and influencing, as uncertainty surrounds the resumption of varsities.

Ayomide, like other federal university students, is a victim of academic hiatus—an effect of the industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Recall that ASUU commenced its strike action on March 23 this year after the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum for reasons including disagreement over Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), salary issues, better working conditions, amongst others. However, the series of meetings the Union has had with the Federal Government has not yielded favourable results to resolve the academic crisis. This development has brought multiple reflections to  the affected students, who seek the best way they can to make adequate use of the “long break.” Thus, Ayomide decided to explore her passion for advertising.

Like Ayomide, Khadija Olajumoke, a 100-L student of Yoruba at the same university also began a full-time teaching job at True Vine Redeemer’s International school at Ilaro, Ogun State. “I had realised I had wasted months waiting for resumption which is not hopeful,” she said. “I also started learning fashion designing.”

Unlike Ayomide and Khadija who are employees, some students have used the ongoing break to bring their business ideas into fruition.

Theophilus Alawonde, a 300-L student of French Education, has begun an advertising and marketing enterprise called Beavers Consultancy, partnering with a few students, whose services are targeted at youth-run enterprises in the country. He said the enterprise “offers advertising and marketing services, writing services,  business management and consultation services at rates affordable to youth-owned SMEs.” For Theophilus, the strike further helped expand his business, “redefined the brand and [helped them form] meaningful partnerships….”

Also, Olabiyi Idris, a 300-L student of History Education, consolidated his fashion and designing enterprise known as Biyistiches, during the strike, where he makes fascinating outfits for sale. He has then been making strategic moves to expand its frontiers. “I figured out that’s the best thing to do since the pandemic and ASUU strike is taking like forever,” he said.

In the same vein, Busari Idris, a 200-L student of Special Education, established a clothing enterprise, Highdee Wears, where he sells clothes of different kinds. The idea of owning a business enterprise had occurred to him a long time ago, but he was able to translate his vision into reality during the ongoing strike, he explained.

Resumption Will Not Affect Progress

Resumption of academic activities will put a smile on the students’ faces, but it will also come with increased academic activities in institutions to make up for the lost months of no work. Though, a cloud of doubt surrounds the certainty of resuming school this year.

Ayomide believes resuming school will not put an end to her current occupation. “No, it can’t. I feel it will help,” she said assuredly. “There will be more freedom to travel and carry out assignments in the media. In school, I will be able to gain more customers to make advertisements.”

Idris, on the other hand, said resumption will affect the flow of his business. “You know, every pro has its con. It will affect but I still have plans to continue,” he said.

Busari is, however, optimistic that resumption will translate into more sales for him because he believes “when school resumes, [the] business will boom.”

Theophilus shares the same views with Busari. “Resumption should positively affect the progress of our enterprise,” he said. “We would be able to physically reach some of our target clients.”

“Also student-enterprises that have gone into a coma will resuscitate, which means the need for proven advertising strategies—one of the services we offer—will rise,” Theophilus said.

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