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Apart from ministering to the sheep all around him as a minister of God, another service Pastor Alexander Olugbenga Abanikanda is saddled with is about ministering to others with essential needs of life. These needs are in the area of mobility and of late, housing. By this he is the Chief Executive of ABAS Affordable Motors and Abas Affordable Homes situated with headquarters in Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos. He is a minister in The Redeemed Christian Church of God.

PTL News was with him recently at his Iyana Ipaja office and it turned to more of education than mere information. He opened up this way, “If you want to succeed in your business in Nigeria, don’t depend on any government for whatever you want to do. Have your own strategy and plans, plan your own business and have your own mindset.

“Many people believe that without government you cannot succeed, depend on God and don’t plan based on what you see,” he counselled.

He continued, “Many are intimidated by the value of dollars. Taking risk is part of business life, you have to be a risk taker to grow in business. Some people are afraid of investment even if they have 10million naira balance in their bank account, they will not do anything with it as it depreciates.

“Don’t be afraid of the unknown that will make you venture into new business. Still on mindset many will say they are failing in business but one needs to study what makes others fail. It is only for the lazy that there are no way.

On whether his business has been affected by the current economic crisis affecting Nigeria, the Ijesa born business man took a look and shared what strengthens him in his business life, said he, “I have never allowed location to affect my thinking and business. Like when I was buying this place some people had many reasons it was not best for business. Today many of them are coming here to appreciate the decision I took to come over here.”

He went further, “Honesty is another virtue that can sustain a business in a tough economy like that of Nigeria. You have to be honest in dealing with the people especially your customers. It will make them believe in you, depend on you and even recommend you to others. As we are here we have referals in other parts of Nigeria.

“A couple recently placed an order for a car through us from outside Lagos. They insisted we should deliver a special brand of car to them despite offers from other sources. This was because we believed we had a relationship with them and we were very honest to sustain the relationship. They waited because of the relationship we had with them. When people know you as a man of your word, doing your best to satisfy them, they would begin to trust you. With this you are bound to succeed.

“Also, don’t be too greedy.if you are too greedy your customers would leave you and opt for others that are more considerate and accommodating.

As a business person you must be a person of vision. One must be visionary. Even when you don’t have money you must be conscious of where you are going. From where you start, learn how to grow, and continue to think of expansion. As a car dealer begin go think of opening more car lots, if you don’t have the result of what you expect today, they will give you better results soon. It is a matter of time.”

He also touched on how failure could influence business in a country like Nigeria. According to him, “As a business person one must not be afraid of failure. Keep on pushing the more you do this, the more experience you acquire in that field. Don’t quit in the face of challenges. In any business there are bound to be challenges, be ready to face your challenges. When you are faced with challenges think about it and proffer solutions and you will not be the same again.

“Another counsel is that when you know people who have failed in your choice of business, try to study them, know what made them fail and work hard to avoid such pitfalls. Try also to move closer to those who succeed in your line of business and do what make them succeed.

“Be disciplined as a business person. Whatever is the pressure be disciplined enough to live within your means. Do not dip your hand into your capital. Not all profits should be spent because there could be price changes always try your best to be on top of the situation by being able to replace old stocks.

“As a business person in Nigeria, try your best to always be available to meet the needs of your customers. Let me put it this way. You have to be there for yourself. Don’t allow others to be there for you. Nobody can manage your business better than yourself especially if it is a growing business. People can be available to help you build your vision, but try to be around to take the lead where it matters.

When the people know that you are hard working, others will join you. Be there on time, others will join you.”

As a Pastor in business the businessman did not lose sight of the role of God in business. Along this line Pastor Abanikanda has this to say, “Above all let God be your most senior partner and let the fear of God take charge in managing your business. Try as much as possible never to make the same mistake twice. As for me I don’t allow sentiments to becloud my business judgement. I don’t take advantage of others and I don’t allow people to take advantage of me. You have to be firm in your decision, be steady and be principled. Let people know your stand on issues of interests. If friends and relatives are not paying for services how do you make the difference? How will the business move forward?

“When it comes to handling things I allow competent hands to handle things. For instance in the area of importation handling if you must hire, hire competent people to do your job for you not mediocres for cheap costs. Do not give people especially family and friends the kind of jobs they cannot handle. It can kill business.

He also stressed the importance of multiplication and profit making in business. “As a business person always think of how to turn one Naira to ten Naira and begin to grow. Be firm and believe that this money you are holding the value must not go down but to increase it, that it must not reduce and it must not remain the same. That is the Osomaalo Spirit as an Ijesa man. It makes you strive harder for better results.”

When asked about how he combines the world of business with the Church business his answer is simply that one should commit his way into the hand of God for good success.

The bible says commit your ways unto God and He will make the desires of your heart come to pass. “Do your work according to the law of God. That will prevent you from doing unholy things, and when people know that you do things in the fear of God they would have confidence in you, and your business will prosper.

“Don’t rely on human factors alone but more on God. Human beings can disappoint at any point in time but God will keep and sustain you. I don’t subject myself to any pressure. By the grace of God I can’t experience hypertension because I have my affairs in the hand of God. I manage what I have on my capacity.”

Besides car business, there are other lines of investment the company engages in. “Apart from car business we divest into property business. As I said one should not be afraid of investing in new ventures. We are also into business financing, Car hire and finances, Car Leasing, Property Development and any other gainful business.

“We specialise in all kinds of vehicles. We are also into haulage and earth moving equipments, special delivery and special orders. Tell us what you need and we will give you what you request, but with declaration of intent. We also encourage instalmental payments and saving to buy to encourage our customers.

For patronage, purchase and the next on your car and home transaction, visit or call at ABAS Affordable Cars & Properties, A division of Cherish Nig. Ltd, Dealers in all kinds of vehicles; 224, Lagos-Abeokuta Express way, Ipaja, Lagos. Tel +234-(0)8023271108, 8064028834, E Mail:

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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