Hundreds of youths in Dutse, the Jigawa capital, are getting involved in stone crushing business to make a living as the rate of unemployment in the state soars.
The business is becoming popular among jobless youths in spite of the risks and high rate of accidents associated with it. Most of the stone-crushers were hitherto farmers and school dropouts who had remained idle for a long time.
The stone crushers make brisk businesses following the rapid development in the housing sector in the state.
The high patronage enjoyed by the youths had attracted hundreds of youths from Dutse, Kiyawa and Birnin-Kudu local government areas to join the trade. Dozens of illegal quarries had emerged in various locations in these areas where the workers use firewood and local tools such as hammers and chisel to crush rocks into various sizes.
Wada Abubakar, one of the stone crushers, said he joined the trade six years ago and was making good sales from it, adding that he made about N25,000 monthly.
“Firewood is used to burn the stones to make them soft and easy for crushing. We also use local tools. Stone crushing provides work for us as a source of livelihood,” Abubakar said.
Another youth, Usman Haruna, described the business as lucrative, adding that he had stopped travelling to the southern part of the country in search of menial jobs since he engaged in stone crushing. Haruna added that he joined the trade to enable him care for his family.
“People are buying the stones from us due to lack of standard quarry in the area,” he said.