SEE How Load Carriers Are Making It Big In Lagos Market
It’s a job many perceived belittling, dirty and exclusively for the not-do-well in the society. But beneath the despised vocation lies some prospects as professed by the few who dare the odds to make big gains.
Kolawole Ojo’s true life account makes a good reference. He is the chairman of load carriers association, Iketu – Ikosi market area of Lagos state.
Unlike in the past, the vocation appears more organised as market porters have now constituted an umbrella body while the trade remains a viable source of livelihood.
Contrary to the impression that market porters popularly known as alabaru may never do well, Ojo, through the vocation has become a house owner in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Ojo narrated to naij.com how he acquired a plot of land and built an 8-room house popularly known as face- me-and- face-you in Ibadan.
According to him, he purchased the land at the rate of N 300, 000 naira in 2006 after he worked for one year.
He stated that the job is lucrative and that most of the load carriers own landed property and houses in many parts of the country.
”Although the job is stressful and shameful, if a person could endure the challenges of insult and certify with it, such a person can do many things that some salary earners cannot do. For instance, my secretary is a graduate who is so interested in it because she knows what she goes home with every day except Sundays alone,” he said.
”Some market porters are graduates. Although i am not a graduate, I was once a load carrier before I became the chairman. I even purchased a plot of Land when I was still pushing the wheel. As at then, a barrow was went for N150 and a carrier could make N1500 between 6am and 12pm, while the persons who worked from 6am to 5pm would have had N3000 or more.
”But now, reverse is the case when you rent a barrow for N2000 and a carrier could make minimum of N3000 for the whole day,” he said.
Another porter, Ajadi Johnson said that most of the young people in the trade have other vocational jobs but decided to take up the job to raise money for equipment or rent shops.
Johnson took up the job in June 12, 2014 when he needed money to buy a cutting machine which he later bought for N250,000.
”Before March next year, I would have bought other equipment like drilling machine which is sold for N70,000 depending on the source,” Johnson boasted.
However, the market porters in Mile 12 market area of Lagos state are appealing to the Lagos government to help their plights.
They alleged that their normal routes were blocked by Lagos state government over heavy traffic jam. “Although the hold up reduced after the blockage, it posts serious difficulty on our job,” One of the porters said.
They appealed to the current governor, Akinwumi Ambode to create alternative ways through which we can be doing our day to day activities smoothly.