This story was narrated and written by Christian C. Ozor
Few months back while I was still serving as a corp member. The federal Government was yet to activate the months alert on my phone, we were yet to be paid the month’s allowee. I was going to my PPA and I had a little money on me. I had to use my corper power to be stopping any car I find going towards my direction. I had my NYSC cap on me.
I stopped some who refused to carry me. But I no blame them. They felt corpers love free ride a lot. One that I stopped, it was a lady that was driving the car. Na so she just whined down the glass. I begged if she could take me to my destination. She asked how much I was willing to pay. I told her that I only had N100 on me. The she looked at me. Her facial reaction looked as if she should slap. “Look corper, don’t you ever stop my car if you don’t have money,” she said as she zoomed off. “Chaiii,” I thought she would even be considerate as a lady.
Na so I stay there till one car was passing by. I was even scared of stopping it but I managed to use my corpers cap to stop it, and it stopped. The driver was a mid-aged man. He said he was going towards Port Harcourt. And that was my direction though I won’t get to Port Harcourt. Well he asked me to come in.
As we move towards my location, we began chatting. He asked me my name and school I graduated from. I told him my name, and that I graduated from Federal University of Agriculture (Funaab). He asked me my state of origin. At first I became scared, hoping he doesn’t want to kidnap me. Because kidnapping is rampant in Rivers state.
He told me his name is Mr Philip and said he’s the CEO of a new oil and gas servicing firm in Port Harcourt. I was just amazed when he said he’s the CEO of an oil and gas serving firm. Because he was looking casual without much swag. My orientation when he said he was the CEO of his oil firm, I thought it was a huge oil and gas firm. I be don think say the man was sitting untop of money.
Not until he told me he only has one employee which is himself. I be don think say I don hammer. You need to see the way I frowned my face as if I lost a jackpot. After much talk, he gave me his complimentary card and dropped me where I was supposed to drop before going his way.
In the evening, I called his line and appreciated him for dropping me off with his car. He said he liked people like me who are smart, intelligent and purpose oriented. Na so I appreciate him compliment.
3 weeks later, Mr Philip called me. He said he had a client in Buguma were I was staying that he wants to supply Marine gas to. And that I should send him my email address so he would send me the quotations for the client so I print and send it to him.
At first I began wondering if this Mr Philip is not up to a scam. “Because you barely know me.” “You just took me in your car once and you want to send quotation to someone through me.” To me it doesn’t really add up. As Mr Philip was still talking on phone, I was just wondering what to tell him.
Whether to tell him ‘No’ or “yes.” I had to cut the call and told him that I will call him back. I had to think about it. My friends who were around were laughing at that I don enter one chance. But I thought about it. Since its just to print email and send it to someone.
But another thought came up. What of if he was trying to set me up to be kidnapped. As I was thinking about it, Mr Philip called again. He saw that I was sounding afraid. He said I shouldn’t be scared, since I am a corper, that he will even send the client to corpers lodge to take the quotations.
I tell say “No problem,” and I sent him my email address. He sent the quotations and I printed it out. Na so I begin wait for call to know the next step. After 2 hours, the client called that he was on his way out of Buguma. And that I should wait for him at the corpers lodge gate so he can collect the quotation.
I went to the gate, I and two of my friends to wait. Because I no wan just take chances. As we waited, a find white venza drove by and stopped at our front. The driver whind down and asked who he was speaking with on phone. I told him I was the one. He apologized for delaying. I gave him the quotations and he left. I called Mr Philip that I have delivered the quotation. He thanked me and sent airtime to me. I was happy.
As time went on, Mr Philip will call and said he was out of town. He would send me transport fare and send me to deliver quotations to some companies.
One day, I decided to visit his office in Abuloma Jetty in Port Harcourt. It was just a room in one big complex. He welcomed me and we talked so well. He said he would love me to join him in that company. He wants me to be marketing and distributing gases to company as he is trying to face gas business squarely. But I was so gullible that I underrated him and the business. I was yet to understand that he was giving me employment on a platter of gold. I was even yet to understand that gas business is the ink thing now.
Na so I begin do shakara. I told him I will think about it since it’s a few weeks before my passing out. He said he just liked me. That I will be his first employee and infact he doesn’t send people on an errand like the way he sends me. He just wants to integrate me as he raises huge money to venture into the business because he is bidding for a big Government contract.
I told my friends about Mr Philips offer, many of them discouraged me. They mocked me, feeling marine gas, gas is not a lucrative business. That he (Mr Philip) is trying to play on my intelligence, and I was being fooled. I never knew that them too were gullible as me. Because some of them studied accounting and commercial courses in school so they only understand oil and not gas.
As time went on, I had no choice because there is no job. I took Mr Philips offer with an open heart and hand. After my POP, I am no longer a corper, some of my friends went back home while I stayed in Mr Philip house with his family. I gave my best as I worked, delivering gases to companies. I was just the chief marketer. For three months I was not paid but I was hopeful in the business. I even help in drafting out big companies that we contact if they need gases.
In the 4th month, first week, we landed huge marine gas supply contract. We were so busy throughout the month that My Oga, Mr Philip employed more hands. At the end of the month, N5m was paid into my account by the company. I was shocked. I thought it was too much according to what I told Mr Philip. He said the money is even too small for the commitment and job I was doing. That if it were bigger companies, they will pay me more, but we are just starting and as time goes on, he will increase it. Chaiii, na so my life don change ooo. Thank God I didn’t listen to my friends.
This is my 6th month in the company and we are getting bigger and better. More workers are coming in. Never despise your humble beginning. And am sure am going to make more money.
This story was narrated and written by Christian C. Ozor