By Ridwan Ojewale, ABH PRESS

The continuous flourish of entrepreneurship in Alexander Brown hall has debunked obnoxious myths about medical students and economics. Despite the relatively fair salary scale of the medical professions and busy schedules, medical students have proven more industrial minded with micro businesses fast springing up and the hall, gradually assuming the new status of the university’s business hub.

Entrepreneurship in ABH takes peculiarities that have in various ways defined its course; scale, nature, entrepreneurs and the sale price are such. As it commonly occurs in this sphere, gender found its way in with a feministic skewness. Most of the ABH entrepreneurs are ladies; the bakers, makeup artists, cooks and a host of others are good examples. In a way, the “feminine factor” has lead to the second peculiarity, the price; the part where we need to be guided with the fear of God.

Many at times when we see broadcast advertising goods, it seems as though the seller lives in another world where money falls like rain and food is all it is meant for. Forgive this poor writer though; perhaps he’ll grow in wealth tomorrow to find no deal in what has become so normal that many now consider it as the only norm. Imagine me buying a #1000 cake on Friday, #1300 menu on Saturday and sealing with #1500 chops/snacks on Sunday. I mean, I am still a student! What is the work of my hand?

The reality of this case is that there are usually no complaints because ladies are involved; fellow ladies tend to throw class and are better able to afford it and guys would patronize because a lady sells it (especially if she’s nice or beautiful). The time you truly get the idea is when a guy tries the same; no matter whichever cosmos he has brought his cuisine skills, if he tries to sell a meal for #1500, aside that he’ll end up eating half of it, half of the other half will go in charity to friends and associate. Guys will in fact ask if he’s willing to sell on credit.

The point is that most products now seem to have the #500 lower price limit save few, as though selling for lesser price bespeaks lesser quality. It is gradually getting in the psyche of aspiring entrepreneurs and everyone is seeing it as no deal. For God’s sake, #500 is the second highest denomination and living in ABH has reduced the value so much that we no longer realize it. At first, one would think life has gone really that expensive in Ibadan, but going outside ABH, money still seems to have better value and one realizes that the loss of value here is artificially induced. The mentality has become “it is for those who can afford it” (similar to the words of one of our ogas) and sure it is but even from the product, one may have an idea of the production cost and when the profit margin is now almost as equal, it is usually not too good.

The concern is not just for patronage but the feedback effect it has in terms of loss of value of money, building psyche that similar food should be of similar price. Ostentation and fear of perceived inferiority would not allow other entrepreneurs lower the price; lest the products seem of low quality and for local commoners. Then, subsequently we’ll have guys who do it better and raise the bench mark to as high as #1000 and a cascade is established. The truth is we students do not even believe ourselves when we protest fee hikes as unaffordable and as such, our actions contradict our constant claims.

This is not intended at hasty generalization of this scenario as the case with all our entrepreneurs, rather a clarion call for caution and consideration. It is well known that the production cost determines the price and it should always remain the major determinant. The right to determine the price of your goods or services is absolutely yours but in the long run, it goes far beyond you. We surely do not want a “Brownian” inflation and we cannot afford to go its ways.

Apologies to those who may feel uncomfortable; do take it as the opinion of one who has its right.
Meanwhile, dear entrepreneurs, can we have four-cornered Beske too?

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