By Tor, Shiekuma Felix

No doubt, a reasonable fraction of Tiv people are currently whirling in the lagoon of poverty. This is more so because of the recessive and crunch economy that is presently smiling in our land. People who are doing white-collar jobs have not been remunerated for quite a protracted time. Those who engaged in blue-collar works are still not appropriately rewarded for their labour because of diminutive

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circulation of money in the country and most specific Tiv land.  This ugly scenario has thrown a greater percentage of people in an untold quagmire and uneasy perturb.
The government that is expected to employ means to make life easy and enjoyable by all plebs seems to be so lackadaisical. It has oftentimes fizzled woefully in her constitutional responsibility of providing essential services to her citizenry. This is attributed to bad leadership that has been scourging our great nation from time immemorial. Moreover, corruption and selfishness have hampered giant moves on the part of leaders to usher in empowerment programmes and initiatives that would reinforce individuals to live a self-sustained life.

Tiv nation is one amid the most blessed nations in Nigeria. We have bunch of mineral resources that we are supposed to brag about. Yet, these resources are not fully explored, except limestone in Tse-kucha. Our land is prolific; fertile and productive. The Tiv nation is a pivotal player in the internally generated revenue and food exuding from agriculture. This fetched us the appellation: “the food Basket of the nation”. However, poverty outstretched its venomous tentacles amidst us, regardless of heaps of natural resources.
On our part as aborigines of the great Tiv nation, over-dependence on government has blindfolded us from utilizing alternative mechanisms of survival. We reckon solely on monthly pay, and now that is not forth coming, we are found muttering about unpaid salaries.  Come to think of it, if this unpalatable incidence persists in the next five years, are we going to survive it? No! of course!
Notwithstanding, now that the government has dolefully failed us, what is the way forward? The way forward is for every Tiv man to reverse and pick entrepreneurship, if we are desirous of thriving in this turbulent world; and ready to avert the same gesture from repeating itself. This is more so because the developed countries that we hear about today reached their economic pinnacle because of entrepreneurship. In essence, entrepreneurship is hitherto driving their economies. 
You might bemoan of awful entrepreneurial culture in Tiv land, but aspiring entrepreneurs must fathom from the onset that; risk-taking is the first and fundamental attribute of entrepreneurship. So, this should not be an alibi for any person who wants to toil toward his/her financial monopoly. However, this article will thenceforward accentuate some entrepreneurship opportunities available for utilization in Tiv land.
Currently, there is a paradigm shift from orthodox way of operation to digital, where life is less laborious. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has therefore presented multifarious golden opportunities for exploit. As we all know, ICT is an outgrown trend that has penetrated all sectors of the economy, and competent hands are needed in various sectors to handle them for the purpose of efficiency; and be remunerated thereof. You could be one of these hands! Apart from working under a sector, you can be a boss of your own. All you simply need to do is to invest time and efforts to acquire requisite skills in germane areas like: typing, software installation; dish installation, programming; network configuration, graphics; website and portal design, analysis packages; computer maintenance etc
The requisite dexterity needed to be a digital guru could be gotten by enrolling for certificate courses in computer or ICT institutes or through apprenticeship. Don’t wait for them to teach you everything but be smart enough to learn on your own. Patience, concentration and determination are sine quo nons for successful training. After training, if you pocket is deep consider sitting up your business venture, if you are not financially buoyant use other legal sources of capital – loan, borrowing etc to establish your business enterprise. I wish you happy journey to financial monopoly!
Since the liberalization of telecommunication industry in Nigeria; Global System Mobile phones become common even in Tiv land. This has expunged communication hurdles that were previously standing as stumbling blocks to effective communication. Presently no single individual could afford to draw breathe without handset. People largely depend on suppliers of handsets to survive in this era of digital and smart phones.
People who engaged in the business of supplying handsets are currently rolling in dough. These business tycoons did not came into the world like that; you can be like them. In case your purse is small-sized, you can venture in selling of phone accessories like phone casings, memory cards, phone external cables and others. Apart from this, you can learn how to repair phones (Phone engineer) under a proficient hand so as set up your independent workshop. Ere you know, money will start banging at door on the daily basis.
Another conspicuous business opportunity is poultry rearing. This involves raising layers, cockerels, chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese etc for meat and eggs, which can be sold and consumed personally. Where I subsist, this particular business is fetching thousands of naira for poultry men. Why not be one of them? I know it is actually tedious to rear poultry but perseverance is central in every business. So, instead of waiting for monthly alert from bank, consider this opportunity of getting daily pay.
The next important opportunity on my mind is tailoring. Fashion and design is a business opportunity that is presently booming because thousands of people are in love with fashion, especially feminine gender. It is consequential to understand that women are not monopoly of tailoring; it is not gender sensitive, everyone can grasp this opportunity to make livelihood out of it.  All you need is to acquire the desideratum skills by learning from a sewing doyen or doyenne. Don’t segregate between men and women styles; learn all of them. Thereafter, consider buying your own sewing machine and setting up your shop respectively.
We have some many times mistaken the fact that classroom education is the only pathway to richness. This is not justified anywhere in the world. Some people have block head; their brains are archenemies of book, yet, they can be effective when it comes to creative works.  So instead of them being irrelevant after graduation, parents should be clever enough to help them build their financial life by allowing them to learn creative works like: arts and design, photographing, drawing, painting and others. – their areas of relevance.
The famous business moguls that we do hear about are mostly school dropouts. Indeed, Bill gates, the richest man in the world, was a school dropout. Therefore, people should rather pursue their areas of relevance to become financial independent in the future than piling up certificates and serving as burden to other persons.
My close and objective observation recently revealed that a larger proportion of Tiv people have very shoddy saving habit. They hardly invest their salaries into business that would triple their earnings. Beer parlors, hotels, women, and bawdy houses are places where improvident people invest their money: this investment has no little returns. I am not saying people should not “enjoy” their life but they should be prudent in things they are spending their money on. However, to eradicate poverty in Tivland, people must cultivate saving and investment habit.
Tiv people are good at underrating some businesses. – Peddling; hawking, etc. This vainglorious attitude is not adding an inch to our standard of living. People who underrate businesses do not receive single kobo at the end of the week or month. So, for us to deal with poverty in Tiv land, we must be ready to venture into any business that is capable of turning our lives around, irrespective of the type and location of such business. In essence, any business that can grease your palm is worth doing.
Other hand works worthy of learning include: carpentry, welding; wiring, footwear making; interior and exterior decoration, weaving; plaiting, manicure and pedicure; mechanics, hairdressing; electronic repairs and several others.
Government on its part should stop giving Tiv people fish, but it should consider teaching them how to catch fish, meaning, instead of government sharing money for people, they should institute programmes that will empower plebs to make money on their own. This will definitely expel destitution out of our poverty-stricken nation.
It is impossible for me to neither list nor discuss all the business opportunities and hand works available in Tiv land. However, golden opportunities abound even in your room, your neighborhoods, in fact, everywhere. Give your life and Tiv nation a meaning by utilizing these opportunities.  Let us join forces to deport this unfamiliar enemy called poverty.
By Tor, Shiekuma Felix can be reached via talk2felixo@gmail.com

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