The Director-General of National Orientation Agency(NOA) Mike Omeri has revealed how he had to ditch his job with an international NGO for suya business in Jos, the capital city of Plateau State. When asked in an interview with Vanguard how he ventured into the suya business to earn a living even with 2 university degrees, Omeri said: ” That was in 1992 or 1993, I was working with an international NGO and there were issues that didn’t agree with my conscience. So I gave it up and I said I could do any other work and what was available was to sell suya.
“I established a place called Geshu in Jos and recruited some persons to work with me. We would go to the market with N5,000 to purchase all the items we needed and roast the meat. Then, in the evening, we start selling to customers. The business sustained me for the period that I had no job. It was from there that a former administrator of Plateau State, Col. Maina, who became Senator Mohammed Maina, appointed me press secretary and newspapers were awash with the story that ‘mai-suya’ had been appointed press secretary.
“In all honesty, many people didn’t know I even went to school because I was selling suya. From my background, I didn’t have reason to do that. My father was a police officer, nine of us-children-had gone to school, working and we were doing very well but I needed to be my own person. I wanted to work. I shouldn’t be idle because my family, friends were providing for me. I believed I should look inward to survive.
“At the start of the suya business, we invested N5,000 and we were making between N2,500 and N5,000 a day which was more than my salary of N1,000 a month at that time and, because of the way we operated, the media helped me. Coming from that constituency, the media made the opening ceremony so glamorous as if we were bringing a different kind of suya from heaven.
“So people were anxious to come and see what it was, so what we did was to package it in a manner that you come, you choose what you want; If it was a la carte, you stand there, it’s done for you. We also introduced other services; so that while you wait for your suya, you patronise other services.”