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COLUMN/OPINION

IN GOD I TRUST BY ONOJA INTEGRITY BABA


At the wake of this year, I ran into a US based media house who found me worthy and offered me a freelancing job. I did few stories to test run the process, I contacted few friends to assist in accessing the stories as part of the prerequisites for me to get paid and when all things were done I got my first payment. Aside selling on Amazon years back, this is the first time in my life that I am earning remuneration in dollars for just tailoring of words to make news story.
The pay is not big and it’s not stable but the important thing is, it comes in DOLLARS.
I was to be getting paid through PayPal but because of the restriction on Nigeria. The media house decided to be using Send Wave. They send my money through my phone number and I go to any access bank branch of my choice to pick up. 
The first time, I went to a branch  neighboring Maraba junction. They processed my cash and payed me at 370 exchange rate.
As a novice, I didn’t know I could get the dollars and go for any blackmarket change. I was fooled but it eased my stress. However, as a trained inquisitive being, I didn’t leave without asking if there is a provision to get the dollars from the bank instead of Naira. The guy in charge, one Mr. John, said they can give me dollars. 
But of course, the naira cash that has entered my hand wont slip off again na. A bird at hand is better than nine in the bushes. I moved.
I returned again for the second time, at the same branch and I met one Igala girl who also came to pick up dollars. According to her, her guy is in US – she doesn’t look it, anyway.
Of course, I know my people – they like showing themselves. She was ordering John up and down and was almost disrupting the activities in the banking hall because she was paid in lower base. I didn’t know what the implication was but I later realized that the bank guys purposely gave us those pieces because we chose to collect in dollars and not bow to their poor changing rate. 
The lady tutored me on how the dollar black market works and how lower base does not have value. On my own side, the Ogugu in me didn’t know that 50 dollar note is not same with 1 dollar in 50 places. But we later collected anyway. 
I was told I would get buyers at Zone 4, Abuja. So, I found myself at Sheraton junction bargaining with Mallams. I got the one,  one dollars at #250 per each and the twenty dollar notes in my money at #400 exchanging rate. I learnt it’s from 50 note and above that has 496 changing rate.
The highest of my notes were 20 dollars. The difference between what I got there and what the bank was offering me wasn’t much but my joy in the entire process is the fact that I earned the dollars through the works of my hands and the power of my mind. 
It’s not pretty huge but it’s dollars.
Since my friendship with dollar started, I always have a relive of a sermon Pastor David Ibiyeomie of Salvation Ministries talked about the secret behind the strength of Dollar and America at large very many years ago. 
He said whoever puts his/her trust in God can not be rubbished or placed beneath. The pastor revealed that the secret of American dollar is the inscription on it. It states “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The people, having realized that the strength of a nation is in its currency, the handed their trust over to God.
Never joke with whoever trusts in God or anything given to God to care for. I am a project in God’s hands and I don’t see men stopping me soon.
I have gone beyond the horizon. I am not you and I am not them,  I am Onoja Integrity.
I am in the cloud, when the dew is gone and the storm is over, I would reappear at unexpected point. It could shock but you would remember that I once told you.
The race is not to the swift. Let’s not compete because you knew me not from Adam. Our villages are not even the same.
We were not on the same path in the first place. You are a PDP boy, I wasn’t. You mistook me for a team mate but I was the referee.
We can only learn to succeed if we follow people who are succeeding.
Albeit, in God I trust.

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