Comr. Martins Inweh is a teacher and phone technician. In this interview with Judith Atorough, he disclosed his motivations, experiences, ambitions, and challenges as a phone technician. He also aired his view on issues of coronavirus.
Can we meet you sir?
My name is Comr. Martins Inweh, popularly known as Akpos. I am the Chairman, Phone Technician Union, Ika chapter. I am also a teacher here in Delta state under Post Primary Education Board. I hold an NCE in Primary Education Studies and Social Studies (PES/SOS), and also hold a Degree in Nursery and Primary Education (NPE). I graduated from Delta State University, Agbor campus.
For how long have you been a teacher?
I have been a teacher for ten years now. I have taught in so many schools, including Agwu-Ewuru Secondary School, Ime-obi Secondary School, Irenuma II Secondary School, Abavo, Mixed Secondary Schoo, Abavo, and currently I am a staff of Ihu-Iyase Secondary School.
What does your business entail?
I repair phones, and I am also into sales of U.K fairly used phones, new phones of all kinds and phone accessories.
How long have you been into this business?
This is my third year in this business.
Why do you choose to go into phone repairs?
Before becoming a phone technician, I did series of businesses, I drove keke back in the days when keke newly came to Agbor. I was once a photographer and a videographer. So, when I became a Civil Servant, I felt that I needed another business that I could be earning my daily income from, before salaries would be paid at end of the month.
Who trained you in the phone business?
Stanley Ijeh, popularly known as Etusco or Abavo. He was my student from Mixed Secondary School, Abavo. He trained me for a period of six months, and made me understand the concept of phone repairs. After undergoing the training for six months, I started the business of phone repairs as my own boss. Two years into the business, I became very popular. I formed part of the committee that drafted the constitution under which the Union operates today.
Due to my immense contributions to the Union, I was the most preferred candidate for the position of the Chairman of the Union; almost everyone voted for me and I won the Chairmanship position. I am presently the Chairman of phone technicians in both Ika South and Ika North East.
Why do you choose to do this business in Agbor?
I am a Civil Servant here in Agbor, and also reside here with my family. Phone repairs is a business that I do after work to keep myself going before salaries are paid.
Who are your clients?
I have a lot of clients who patronize me; D.S.P (rtd) Egbule, O.C. Revenue Ika South, Men of the Nigerian Army and others that I can’t remember.
What has kept you going in the business?
First of all, the grace of God has kept me moving. Secondly, I have passion for it. gives me joy to satisfy my clients. Any work without passion, cannot be enjoyed. Being a phone technician has really exposed me and given me the opportunity to interact with different calibers of people in the society.
How many apprentices do you have?
I have trained a lot of persons, but, currently I have just a student who is undergoing training and he is learning very fast.
Is the business lucrative?
Every business is lucrative.
Are your services satisfactory to your clients?
Yes, my clients are always satisfied with the services I render. Most of my clients are through recommendation. The quality of phones I sell and good services I render speak for me.
What and what make you stand out from others?
My ability to handle issues as they arise, my interaction with people, and how I am able to accommodate client’s attitude.
What are your challenges?
Initially, I had the challenge of repairing phones, most phones I repaired then could not power on again. As a technician, if such a thing happens, some clients will get security agents to pick you up. That was a big challenge, but by the grace of God, I have overcome that. In the aspect of sales, sometimes customers buy phones and after a period of about five days, they will bring them back, expecting that their money will be refunded, with claims that the phones lack most the features they needed.
Also, most times, when I get U.K second hand phones, after some days, the phone will go off automatically without detectable fault.
Where do you see your business in the next five years?
By the grace of God and all plans put in place, I see myself in the next five years as a dealer of all kinds of phones and phone accessories.
Is your business registered?
Yes, the business has a registration certificate with Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) Asaba. They come for inspection from time to time.
Who is your Role model or Mentor?
I have a lot of role models who I aspire to be like in the near future. They are people who started as phone technicians and now are phone dealers. They are Oyibros, Ebede Communications, Kendo Communications, Joetech, Chor-Chor, C.K Communications, De Don Communications and a lot of others. Aside phone dealers, I have role models in the Educational sector that I also admire a lot: People like Mr. Charles Ekpenisi, Engr. Onahor Lawrence, the former NULGE Chairman Ika South.
What do you do at your leisure?
At my leisure, I log into facebook, twitter, opera mini, radio stations and other media platforms to get information about current happenings in the country and the world at large.
How have you been able to contribute to the society?
As a teacher, I have taught so many students who are doing very well and they are good citizens. Whenever I see them, I feel happy and proud to have taught them. As a phone technician, I have trained a lot of persons to become entrepreneurs and some are currently undergoing training. Recently, I, under the auspices of Phone Technicians Ika chapter, distributed hundreds of face masks around Ika South and Ika North East Local Government Areas of Delta State to assist in curbing further spread of the coronavirus.
What is your advice to unemployed persons most especially the youths?
I do advise unemployed youths from time to time to start up something while waiting for their dream jobs, and to acquire some skills that will be of help to them in future. I use myself in most cases as an example to encourage them. Nothing is too small to start up with, provided you earn something at the end of the day. No skill is a waste. Before now, I had wanted to embark on a publication to advise youths to desist from being dependent, it is high time the youth faced the reality of life. It is not too late to discover your talent and what you are made of. Skill acquisition is very important to everyone. Students graduate every year from the university, serve and are discharged from National Youth Service without jobs. I am using this medium to advise and encourage them to acquire any skill that will be beneficiary to them.
What is your advice to the government?
I appeal to the government to provide more skills acquisition programmes, after which trainees will be empowered to start up something meaningful in life. I believe that with empowerment, everyone will be interested in acquiring skills. I also thank the Governor of Delta state for the good job so far in providing skill acquisition programmes and empowerment for the youth. However, more of such programmes for the teeming youths will not be out of place.
What can you say about coronavirus?
Coronavirus , no doubt is a pandemic that has caused the society more harm than good. It has affected the world’s economy, affected private sectors, education, entertainment, agriculture, and others. Prices of food items have also tripled. This is the greatest tragedy the world has experienced lately.
Where are you located?
I am located at College Junction, along old Lagos/Asaba road Agbor. I can be contacted through 08139474989