Friday, 25 November 2016

Why Always Filling Station and Plaza in Warri?

Being blessed means you become a channel that the blessings flows through and not only to. This piece was almost named “Spread it, don’t Shrink it” because this is what a good percentage of people in the city of Warri with means to finance businesses do. Is either everyone is doing the same kind of business or cutting off means of income to a larger audience for a few.

Going home from AFE’s Studio at Okumagba Avenue, just after the popular Robinson Plaza by Efejuku junction, along Deco road, there used to be a piece of land that accommodated a boutique, and a “temporal vegetable market”, but today on that same land stood a filling station and a new structure beside it, which turned out to be an event centre NNeoma Colliseum.

Why another filling station or plaza? Warri has a lot of filling station, correct me with statistics if I’m wrong, Warri has more filling station than most capital cities in Nigeria. Almost at every major turn there’s a new filling station under construction or an abandoned plaza, sometimes in the remotest part of the city.

Filling stations is not the challenge of this city, there are too many of them, (there’s a filling station adjacent to the new one in that area) There are host of other kind of business begging for the attention of Warri, for instance, Nigeria has less than ten maritime institutions, and JoeMarine Institute of Nautical Science Warri is one of the best, she has students coming from all around Nigeria to attend, business has been so good that they are relocating outside Warri to a more spacious property. When Joemarine eventually relocates outside the city in less than five years, it's not a gain, but the void can be occupied if a new marine school takes her place.
1. Warri needs a standard meat shop or a fish shop.

If you have been to unitop meat shop after Angle Park then you will know that she alone cannot service Warri. For a #newwarri, we need such kind of business to thrive. Have you seen how cattle are butchered in our local markets? Have you been to any of the slaughters in town or the cutting tables of these meat sellers?

I sincerely think that the city needs more than two standard meat and fish shop, to cater for the city. Sometimes Unitop does not even have some of the products on their menu or product list. This is a less competitive market, with high return on investment potentials but yet known of the major players in Warri have thought about investing into one.

If there’s one thing that sells in Warri, like a wide fire is "bragging rights". The big boys in the city will buy their meats there. Think about how residents of Udu road to go to shoprite to buy ice cream or bread, just to brag with the shoprite bag, when a cool GemStone supermarket is close to them.

2. A Saloon inside Delta Mall.

Often time when I go to the mall with my Big brother he jokes about having a barbing saloon beside shoprite itself inside the mall. Customers won’t mind the cost, because of the other benefits of cutting their hair inside Delta mall.

Almost every kind of business now exist inside Delta mall, from telecommunication, clothing, food to DSTV, but we still don’t have a saloon. A standard male and female saloon with pedicure and manicure service will do extremely well inside the mall. The last time I was at Ikeja mall, I still remember big girls and women fixing their nails along the walk way before the cinema, why can’t we have that inside Delta mall?

3. A Vegetable Market.

An average of fifty women comes to carry their load whenever trucks of fresh veggies arrive from the north. Why not a portable vegetable market in that same piece of land and lease it to these women? By so doing you’ve created a unique market with standard operation and job opportunities, Like Security jobs, cleaners, food, transportation etc every markets has a life of its own that attracts other kind of support she needs.

A vegetable market would have been more suitable than an unwanted filling station.

4. A Creative Hub.

The world is in the era of the creatives. People are becoming more creative and resourceful. We can all attest to this fact through Robinson plaza, which has created a means of sustenance for a lot of young people, not because of the plaza, but because of the kind of services and products sold there. It was the first major phone centre in the city and many young people can creatively tweak phones and add gadgets. I know at least two young men that saw themselves through university hustling at Robinson plaza.

A creative hub with small office space with internet and power given to this creatives will boom in the city. Many young people are looking for a corporate outlook that can work the magic. Many small minds when they read Internet and power will think "Yahoo, Yahoo boys go full there" there are thousands of young men who are gainfully self employed through their laptops and don't do scam, e.g. me.

Check around the city, a good number of plaza built are underutilized, only a few has occupants, but yet people are still building more.

Every time I pass through Enerhen junction, I weep inside my heart whenever I see that four or five glass story building beside Bob Izua motor park wasting away. That building will make a fine creative or business hub.

The owner should not concern himself with the price but just lease out the office space at a very, very, very low rate just to keep the building busy, a new relaxation spot just opened at Eku house opposite that building, that land has just been there since Ecobank and PHCN left and the owners have repurposed it.

At the moment, that buikding is seriously underutilized and she needs life pumped into it though busyness that'll be created by business owners and visiting customers.
Enerhen junction is the heart of Warri, with life and activities going on inside that building, the price may eventually go up, but as it is right now? It's a waste, not only to the owner but to our beloved city.
A new trend is fizzling into Warri and that’s event center or halls. MOM civic centre was the first major event hall, but the last time i was there, standard has dropped, the city needs more events centers and they should be properly managed with the best standard maintained.

If you know other kind of business that the city needs, please leave a comment or reach us via email and let’s talk about it.

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