Choosing a right career is a big problem to many but some people are very lucky to know their bearing from the beginning. Parents and teachers do play significant roles in picking careers for children.
Our correspondent spoke to Asiwaju Nurudeen Dapo Wahab on his chosen career, Environmental Management and how he made it big through environmental and food services consultancy. Excerpts:
What were your early years like?
Yes, my early years were fascinating, okay, it was a good one. I was born in Ilero, kajola local government of Oyo state. I started my primary school at Ansarudeen, Ilero. After that, I left for Ansarudeen Comprehensive High School for my secondary school education. (But) When I was in primary school, I was the school janitor instead of Head boy. What played against me was my size. Then we have a lot of grown-up boys, it was as if I was the smallest because I was eleven while they were eighteen, you know back then, in seventies, we normally have grown up people, so they said this small boy won’t be able to control this big boys so they gave it to one of the grown up boys.
When in Secondary school, I was made the senior prefect of the school. Later, I got admission to University of Agriculture in Abeokuta; (Now Federal University of Abeokuta.) to study Environmental management. But I had my Masters from foreign institution.
Now, I am the C.E.O of: Sparkle-Cherry International consultancy services.
I am also a consultant to NAFDAC and United Nations.
Who chose your career for you?
Nobody chose my career for me, even my parents did not. My father told me after I finished my Secondary school that he would not choose my course of study for me to be studied in University, that I should go ahead and choose any one that would suit my future career. The passion for my present career started when I worked briefly with Nigeria Bottling Company (Coca cola) in Quality Assurance Department: I was stationed at Water treatment plant, from there I developed a lot of interest in water and food services. Having graduated from University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, I saved in Cross- Rivers State for my NYSC, where I was posted to Cross-Rivers State Water Board limited. This has also increased my passion for water services. From Water Board, I was seconded to Ortech Consulting Water Engineers, a water Engineering Company before joining a Pharmaceutical company, water packaging section. Eventually I chose my career to become a water, Environmental and & Food services consultant, that has led to the establishment of my company named: Sparkle-Cherry International consultancy services.
If you were not an environmentalist, what profession would you have preferred?
I would have been a Pharmacist. Because since my childhood, I used to tell my parent that I would love to be a pharmacist.
Which kind of personalities are your parent?
My Dad is a trained teacher. He retired as a Secondary School Principal. Although during his career as a teacher, he was appointed as an Education secretary for Kajola Local Government in Oyo state and a board member: Oyo State Library Board. But my Mummy was a trained knitting woman and general merchant.
How can you rate the quality of education now compared to your days?
This time around, we have been seeing a lot of improvement in teaching methods that assist a lot of students. I attended a public primary and secondary schools. The way we taught then is quite different from now. But the moral aspect of it, is more pronounce; gone are the days when you see your teacher and you will be afraid even outside the school. Now, they (the students) won’t even greet their teachers. Technology is another difference. During our time, punishments were well pronounced. If you do little thing, it would result to flogging. No teacher can try that now. So the level of education is improving with the teaching methodology.
As an environmentalist, what is your opinion about Waste management in Nigeria?
Waste management in Nigeria has not improved. The problem is that we were taught various ways of managing wastes. We have industrial, home and hospital wastes. Ways and manner of treating waste are different. There was a time we wrote a proposal to Ogun state government. Our proposal dwelled on how we can recycle the sachet water nylons and bottles that filled our environment. The way we manage our environment is very bad, which lead to erosion, sometimes, when it rains, you see people dropping their wastes in drainages. Eventually, that is how they will block the water channels and it will affect them too.
What is the motive behind the establishment of your foundation?
Basically, I want to touch lives positively, most especially less privilege and indigent students. It is not for profit making. I have been doing this since my Secondary School days, before the establishment of Asiwaju Dapo Wahab Foundation.
What have you achieved with Asiwaju Dapo Wahab Foundation?
The Foundation has given scholarship to over twenty students/ pupils.
We have settled Hospital bills and given soft loans to Community women.
Apart from these, we distribute educational materials to students and organize entrepreneurial trainings/seminar for upcoming entrepreneurs in our communities amongst other things. Personally, I have trained up to 300 entrepreneurs. They are now working both home and abroad with their businesses registered.
Source: PEAK PATHWAY MAGAZINE