Going the extra mile for Nigerians in Ireland
2007-11-08 11:41:10 -

In the latest instalment of Metro Eireann’s Meet The Boss, SANDY HAZEL speaks to Adebayo Adeniyi, owner of Baymar Cargo, which ships from Dublin to Nigeria 

Adebayo Adeniyi is from Nigeria and has been in Ireland for seven years. When he first arrived, he was seeking asylum so he could not work. “I went to college to study media and marketing at the Dublin Business School,” he explains. “I studied there for four years and got my BA degree there.

“At that stage my wife Mariam and I had a child and so we applied for the permit for residency. I then started to apply for various positions but found it difficult, as everywhere I went they were looking for previous experience. It was a catch-22 situation as I needed to build up that experience.”

But Adeniyi was undaunted. “It was then that I decided to run my own business,” he says. “I did a course with the Blanchardstown Partnership, which involved mentoring. I learned about how to negotiate the Irish business world, how to develop contacts and how to keep accounts in order. It was a valuable course.

“I also attended a course run by Emerge, which was good for learning networking. This course helped me to develop my idea for the business and to figure out if it might work.”

Adeniyi decided to develop a cargo business which would deliver goods to Nigeria – the result was Baymar Cargo.

“I did a lot of research and spoke to people all over Ireland,” he says. “I went to the churches to advertise my business too. I went to Dundalk and to other places outside of Dublin to get customers and agents. I found that the big city like Dublin is well catered for with cargo companies but that there are also customers to be found outside the city.” 

Adeniyi finds that word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get business. “I am also an agent for Checkpoint, a money transfer service which is a good service for Nigerians living in Ireland,” he says. Providing this service also allows Adeniyi to network and build up contacts.

“Many of the items that we ship are things such as used computers and used clothing,” he explains. “These things have a high value to families and businesses in Nigeria but are relatively cheap to obtain here and to ship, so it is a value-added exercise, recycling at its best. These goods are not for resale – they are being donated. Good use is made of these items.

“My business will take items and use an agent at the airport to handle goods to ensure clearance on the way to Nigeria. I employ the agent to organise customs and paperwork. We find that the Nigerian customs are very strict about certain items and will not allow any contraband, so we have to be sure that we are not carrying it at all as that would reflect badly on the business. Foodstuffs also are not allowed. At the Nigerian end, the recipient can either pick the item up at my contact depot or we will deliver directly to the address in Lagos.” 

One of the problems Adeniyi faced when starting up his cargo business was the attitude of lenders. “I learned that it may be possible to obtain a business loan to help me get started,” he says, “but when I applied I was told that it would not be feasible as my business had not been established enough. What is strange, though, is that the same bank would happily give me a personal loan if I had wanted one of those.

“In the end, my wife and I are investing our own capital in the set-up. We are better off. It is working and I would never do anything else.”
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