It was fun all through at the official commissioning of the Gerawa ultra modern 420 MT/Day rice mill by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele in Kano.
The Chief Executive of the rice mill Isah Muhammad Gerawa delivered an address in English to describe his growing up to the CBN governor in a fairly spoken language that entertained those present at the event.
He described how he grew from Almajiri boy in the past to a billionaire.
“My father took me from our village Gerawa to Almajiri school in 1965.
I spent four years at the Almajiri school learning the basics of Islamic studies.
“I didn’t inform my father at that time, I didn’t inform him of my plans to go into business then.
“I lost my pan at the forth year, the one I use to beg for food with. I didn’t inform my dad.
“I went to one of the filling stations at Zaria road where I met a truck driver. I begged him to please take me to Lagos, that was in 1980.
“The driver agreed to take me to Lagos. He bought food for me because I had no single Kobo by then.
“The driver took me to Lagos. On dropping me I enquired about where the Hausa community is and I was told to go to Alaba.
“I went to Alaba but I knew nobody then at Lagos. I met somebody who agreed to make me his errands boy at the place he was selling tea and bread with egg.
I worked there as an errands boy, washing cups and plates and also fetching water.
“I realised that I left Kano to Lagos to make money. But become an errands boy of the tea seller will not bring that money to me so I decided to change my line of business.
“I started hawking with my N20 from Alaba to Mile 2 everyday including Saturday and Sunday” he said.
When I came back to the north, here in Kano, I decided to try my hands on small scale industry where I started a groundnut oil producing industry.
“At that time I left my house and family and used to sleep with the security guard at the sight for fear of the machines and other implements being stolen.
“I started with two engines used for grinding of groundnut for the production of oil. I was one of those loading and off loading the machine. It is with the blessing of Almighty God that we reached this level.
“I was able to establish other companies thereafter and later moved to rice milling and farming as suggested by our president Muhammadu Buhari” he added.