By NBF News
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L-R: Adebayo and Sonoiki
Block making is always considered a lucrative business. This is due to the fact that blocks and bricks are materials that people use to build houses, and they are always in continuous demand.

Irrespective of levels of income, people strive to have houses of their own. So, blocks and bricks will always be in high demand.

According to some entrepreneurs, who are currently engaged in the block and brick making business, the business remains a very lucrative one, which has the potential to change the fortune of the owner within a short time. Of course, huge capital is not required to start the business.

Sharing his experience with our correspondent, the Managing Director of Onigolu Block Industry, Ikorodu, Chief Fred Sonoiki, says the business is very lucrative and profitable.

According to him, 'The business is a very profitable one. I am involved in the business of block and brick making. I make good money from the business, which I use to make ends meet and meet my obligations.'

On the viability of the business and how it can be established, Sonoiki says, 'Whoever is interested in the business should buy, at least, one or two plots of land – preferably two plots. A small store must be built on the land for safe keeping of the equipment. A tent is also needed to accommodate operators, mixers and the machines. You also need some wheel barrows, shovels and a small office for the manager.

'All these things must have been put in place before the business can take off and the proprietor requires about N1.5m to start the business, especially in areas that are not developed. However, a higher capital level will be required in areas that are developed, as a result of the cost of land.'

On how profitable the business can be, Sonoiki says, 'The business is lucrative. If you procure materials worth N500,000, it can fetch you a profit of N270,000. You must, however, monitor the staff and the manager to ensure that they do not steal your money.

Besides, you need to ensure that you have a security man that will always be on ground to be in charge of the property and the finished goods. This is to ensure that they are not stolen.'

He adds, 'Effective monitoring is very important because a tipper of sand and certain number of bags of cement will produce some blocks. So, if you don't monitor the staff well, your materials may finish without you getting the required results in finished goods. If not well monitored, there may also be a conspiracy among the staff to steal.'

On the challenges of the business, he explains, 'The rainy season is not usually friendly to block making. If you produce blocks and it rains, you may lose the blocks. Apart from that, the business is very profitable. Once you are known, some customers will even deposit money for your products, which you can use for the business, depending on how urgent they need their blocks.'

Another block maker, Mr. Mufutau Adebanjo of Olowoofayoku Block Industry, also shares Sonoiki's views. He, however, stresses the need for the person setting up the business to ensure that there are delivery vehicles that will facilitate the supply of the bricks and blocks to customers.

He says, 'The business is okay. You must devote some time to monitoring the production process always. If you do not do that, your members of staff will connive with one another and either use substandard materials or sell some finished products without your knowledge.

'For instance, one bag of cement can produce a certain number of blocks. So, there is the need for effective monitoring. Also, one tipper of sand should produce certain number of blocks. In all, between 12 and 13 bags of cement are used daily, which are expected to produce 480 blocks.''

He adds, 'The business is very profitable. I have enjoyed patronage from my customers over time and I have used the profit to pay my children's school fees over time as well as meet my daily obligations.'

On the challenges of the business, he says, 'The major challenge of the business is mainly in the affordability of a delivery vehicle, which is one area that causes block makers to disappoint their customers. When we started, we did not have any delivery vehicle but we now have two delivery vehicles, a situation that makes the job easier.''