Muyiwa Akala is a popular clearing and forwarding agent in Idiroko area of Ogun State. He is the boss of Akala Enterprises, located in Cotonou with several branches at Ididroko Border. This business, according to Akala started when he was in his tender age. This is because he was born and brought up in the axis.
Aside from being a successful businessman, Akala is also a household name in the Nigerian social circle. Recently, City People hosted famous music act, Femi Solar, who happens to be a favourite musician of Akala, at its Events Centre, located at 2, Otunba Sobowale Way, Charley Boy Bus/Stop, Gbagada, Lagos. Our society reporter, GBOLAHAN ADETAYO cornered the successful businessman who revealed to us little about his life, how he met Femi Solar, the challenges he faced in life before he became a big brand in the clearing and forwarding industry, among others. Excerpts:
How did you meet Femi Solar?
Femi Solar is one musician I love in Nigeria. After Alabi Pasuma, I will take Solar. I got to know him about 2 years ago. I met him through another young talented singer known as Ifemide. His loyalty and respect made me love Solar. When I talk to him, he tries all he can to listen.
How many years have you been practising as a clearing agent?
I have been doing it as a toddler. Which means it’s been a while. I was born at the border and I grew up in the midst of those doing the job before I became what I am today in the profession.
Are your parents’ customs’ officers?
Not at all, both of them are into business. But I decided to go into this job on my own. May be I should attribute that to the people I see as area brothers.
Can you share with us some of the challenges in this job as an agent?
There are lots of challenges, especially the Nigerian customs. They are the biggest challenge. They don’t think things lightly with us. They get your goods seized and many things like that but one has to give glory to God almighty.
Can you share with us any unforgettable encounter you have had with them?
I can’t start mentioning because most times they seize goods worth millions. Nobody to run to but God. The incidentI cannot forget was when 2 of my trailers were seized. This really affected me. With God at my side, I was able to bounce back.
With the shutting down of the border by this current government, how does this affect you and your industry at large?
I wouldn’t like to comment on this because without saying anything, Nigerians, especially those in this business knows what that does to our economy, let alone of those working in that area.
Can you talk a little about your fish business?
It is cool and very lucrative business but there are lots of challenges in it. There is no job in this world that doesn’t come with stress. Let’s just be thankful in whatever situation we found ourselves. I import fish to Nigeria.
What is the thing one needs to do if you decide to go into fish importation business?
To do this business, you need to get a very big cold-room, and it has to be neat because it is something people consume. You need to be patient because you will definitely face some challenges when you first start. If you have tolerance, you will enjoy it at the end. These are the major things to first consider if you are going into fish importation business.