In Nigeria, “agbero” is a demeaning word for motor park touts, garage loaders, the never-do-wells in the society and the drug addicts who spend most of their time in motor parks shouting and sourcing for passengers and helping them board the right vehicles.
For their service, they are paid small tokens ranging from N20 to N100 as “commissions”for every vehicle they load. They could be very hardworking.
On careful analysis, I discovered that on a very good day, a diligent agbero can make between N3,000 and N5,000. But the sad news is that most of them squander all that money on cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and womanizing such that they’re broke before the following day of work.
They usually dress, sound and look fearful. Some of them are tagged cultists, thieves and vagabonds, and as such, they are usually seen as rough, dangerous and outcasts in the society.
Being an “Agbero” is not something a sane youth will want to become in future. It is something no sane parent would want for his/her child.
However, few people care to consider why these agberos end up the way they do. Few people think about the fact that some of them are from broken homes; some are orphans; some were accused as “witches and wizards” since childhood and disowned by their parents and the society; some are victims of negative association and peer pressure; some are school drop-outs; and some, if not most, are victims of unemployment that is bedeviling our country.
While, I am not writing this to defend the wayward “agbero” lifestyle nor to plead their cause for them to be reintegrated into the society (after all if any of them is caught breaking the law, the prison service people are there to socialize and reform them), I want to draw your attention to the fact that NOT ALL ABGEROS ARE CRIMINALS.
Some of them are honest, hardworking, responsible citizens struggling to make ends meet in a hard country. Some of them have families. Some of them have houses and projects they’re working on.
I have heard and read of stories of several agbero who have made it in life through sheer diligence, consistency and hard work. I have heard of truck pushers and load careers and who have single-handedly sponsored themselves through college.
I have heard stories of “abgeros” who out of their daily hustle, have bought a taxi on hire purchase. They drove the taxi for some months and before you know it, they’ve paid off their debt and purchased the taxi for themselves. The rest of the story is obvious.
They’ll go ahead to work and save diligently until they could build their own house, get married, raise children and eventually retire to another job or go ahead to own fleet of commercial taxis and buses that are fetching them massive passive income.
Now, let me ask you an important question…
What Differentiates the Agbero that goes on to become a taxi driver and make it in life from the one that remains an Agbero till death?
The answer is FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE.
The former has a vision, a future and dire need to outgrow his present circumstances while the later has no vision and no future ambitions – he is content to live in his self-made comfort zone of being a lowlife, drug addict.
The former has been able to apply the principles of money, savings, investment and financial growth to his favour while the later spends his money as it comes. He has no life savings, no budget. He knows nothing about money management and he doesn’t care to learn. All he is after is his cigarettes and his promiscuous lifestyle.
I could go on and on with the lots of facts that make these two Agberos unique and different from one another but I want to believe that you’ve gotten a hint from what I’ve mentioned so far.
The punchline is that you should not despise the lowlifes in the society. Before you write them off as criminals, take the time to find out what put them in the position they are.
Not all of them are content with their lifestyle but most don’t just have a choice. They need to be enlightened. With the right Financial Education, they can go far in life.
Instead, try to see what you can learn from them, especially the hardworking and successful ones; those that are eager to come out of the dungeon of poverty.
It is only by doing this that you will agree with me that in deed, there can be a Financially Intelligent Agbero.
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