The effects of the Covid pandemic have rocked all vital sectors in Nigeria. Not many understand the impact on education, however. But Mrs Olajumoke Adeyoyin felt the impact towards full force. The 45-year-old Economics graduate of the University of Ado Ekiti was at the time Principal of the White Garden College, Post Office, Ipaja. Within a short time, life was turning on its head. Salary got delayed and hope for a distant future dimmed.
Mrs Adeyoyin saw light out of the tunnel early enough.
“I had to start to think out of the box. Pre-Covid, I had been combining my school business including work at the food processing and packaging shop. But a shortage of adequate capital was not allowing work at the shop to go smoothly. Soon, I took a leap of faith by applying for a Covid-19 loan funded by the Federal Government and this launched our company,” she told Urban-Express News online
D-Gold Mine Foods had started operations in 2017 at a modest Block 189 inside the Abesan Estate. But it was not until the Covid era in 2020 that the company began to flourish.
According to Mrs Adeyoyin, progress came only at a slow and steady pace, although the efforts are well worth it. “Ever since I resigned my job at White Garden College, I have devoted all my time to this business,” she said.
Devotion has begun to pay off, although not as huge. There are the processed packaged products to showcase: powdered pap of different varieties, sorghum, millet, plantain flour, yam flour and soya bean flour, among other foods with rich nutritional values. “Our aim is to break a new ground in food processing and packaging while sustaining the business,” she also said.
There are challenges, however, as can be expected in any business. Mrs Adeyoyin gave insight: “Meeting customers’ needs remains our biggest challenge. The rise in the cost of food is also a big challenge. At the moment we are trying to collaborate with some farmers in the north so that we can get the food from there at a cheaper price than they are in Lagos.”
At the moment, the majority of the clients are teachers in secondary schools around Abesan and beyond, as well as hospitals. Among the hospitals are Aregbe Okunola, Kokumo, Abesan Primary Health Care and Oke Odo Iledo General Hospital, Igbogila.
Mrs Adeyoyin works at the office fully equipped with machines in partnership with her 47-year-old husband, Adelowo, basically, and between them they plan on distributing the processed and packaged food to their clients in far-flung areas of Lagos State. Sometimes, when the workload gets overwhelming, they engage two part-time staff to smoothen things with a view to meeting customers’ needs.
Between N200,000 and N250,000 comes in as monthly profit and it could amount to N1million in six months. More profit is envisaged in a year, depending on how the distribution strategy works out.
Mrs Adeyoyin foresees brighter prospects for D-Gold Mine Foods: “In the next five years, we would have a well-structured factory where more workers would be employed in view of our expansion plan, after which we would start to export our products.”
Meanwhile, D-Gold Mine Foods’ products would be on display at the 2021 National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (Lagos Chapter) Trade Fair scheduled for Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja from October 25 to 30.