THE FALL OF DIGNITY IN JOB APPLICATION IN NIGERIA
The recent shocking and disgusting revelation by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, multi-billionaire
businessman in one of the mentorship meetings of the World Bank youth forum that about
13,000 applicants applied for the job of truck drivers in his flagship company which he felt pity on the Nigerian
economy. Out of the 13,000, applicants received, six were PhD holders, 704 were Masters Degree holders while 8,460
were Bachelor degree holders which indicated the high rate of unemployment and bad leadership in Nigeria. The job
application was meant for University first degree holders as executive graduate truck drivers which position initially
meant for certificate holders but disgracefully hijacked by unemployed PhD holders.
In Nigeria, Unemployment is no longer a news but the fall of dignity in job employment has prompted many
determined young people to lose focus on their professions and fast becoming caricature of mediocre employers of
labour while brain- drain of Nigerians seeking for foreign trips are growing at geometrical progression and ready to do
all manner of odd jobs to survive in all ramifications. In the developed countries , PhD holders are free to apply to any
suitable job of their choice depends on the company requirements but in Nigeria here, we place values on
certificate and titles which invariably makes the system of education destabilized in recent times. The fact remains that
those that are qualified are not employed except few ones whose connection and divine being on their side. The drive
of university degree has prompted many Nigerians to prefer buying certificates than to settle for academic excellence. It
is not disheartening because even first degree and masters' degree holders in Nigeria are Okada riders and bus
conductors, yet the government keeps on promising employment opportunities in Nigeria. The fall of dignity in job
application could be traced to bad economy which the past and present political and economic leaders indoctrinated the
country into with their selfish interests and nothing else.
Come to think of the clamor for University degree knowing well that the numbers of graduates from the Nigerian universities on yearly basis is alarming that the labour market cannot provide employment for all which has led to incessant kidnappings, Boko Haram insurgence, terrorists, armed robbery, prostitution and other social crimes in the system. Most of our so-called politicians decide to use youths to win elections with multiple promises with no fulfillment. The average minimum qualification for some Nigerian job placement is first degree with 10 to 5 years experience while school certificate is no longer relevant in the present job application due to overpopulation of applicants seeking for daily employment. Even job agencies are not helping to salvage the situation rather create more frustrations on the eyes of the Nigerian youth or job seekers. Sometimes, employers of labour place age limit on job application which prevents many to get these jobs with little remuneration of salaries. In Nigeria we glorified titles than hardworking which have prompted many Nigerians to purchase honorary doctorate degrees without due process. Even to the extent that some now set up Bible colleges to award doctorate degrees on those with high purchasing power than brain work.
It is sad that our university education is relegated to the background despite UNESCO 26 percent recommendation in funding the education sector which the federal government has failed to comply with it. The system of education in Nigeria has prompted many students and lecturers to prefer Foreign and African universities than Nigerian ones together with elongated strikes and ability to pay lecturers their salaries when due. Most of our research institutions are nothing to write home about. It glaring that self- employed Nigerians that fall on the entrepreneurial skills are being faced with financial challenges which private and government institutions abruptly failed to lend soft- loans to equip small-scale businesses in Nigeria. Being a PhD holder or master's degree holder as a truck driver indicates the demeaning system of our education which gives privileges to only those that are connected to the blue chip companies. The challenge of a University graduate being unemployed is one of the major issue that makes many youths to take to crime with no patience because of family influences and others. Our growing institutions that ought to be centre for job placement is being under- funded by the federal government over the years while only few wealthy entrepreneurs are given opportunity to establish their companies and nothing else.
It is in Nigeria, we make life difficult for poor people to exhibit their intellectual prowess because of too much premium on rich people who have recently enriched themselves with the country resources with high profile corruption. Though job unemployment is world problem which needed urgent attention due to the recent economic meltdown. Most Nigerians are desperate for titles and be addressed with such titles as chief, Dr, Prof or Most Rev Dr. In fact failure to address them with such title would amount to punishment or public disgrace by such a person or as sacrilege. We value titles than God in Nigeria.
Even the present Minister of Education Prof Raqquattu Rafia has instructed all Nigerian Universities not to award honorary doctorate degrees on undeserved Nigerians whose wealth are questionable. This is a country where political leaders forge result from foreign and Nigerian universities to acquire political powers.To the extent that Nigerians are beneficiaries of this so-called job placement while the underprivileged ones are employed as cleaners, waiters, drivers and security personnel. One of the problems of Nigerians seeking employment is that most companies only employ contract staffers through job agencies not directly to the company which salaries paid to such workers are slashed into two while promotion and job motivation is determined by these agencies.
Moreover, Handbills and media adverts on job placement is at geometrical progression while those job agencies collect examination fees and tests from job seekers with no assurance of getting comfortable job for livelihood. In a developed world, those with high profile titles prefer to be addressed as Mr. or Mrs. But in Nigeria the reverse is the case. Everybody wants to be honored in a public function without labour even it has extended to clergies in Nigeria. The drive for university degrees in recent past years has made many young Nigerians to deviate from their main callings and result into job seekers to ridicule their careers. Even some companies only employ masters' degree holders while first degree holders are given lower positions which place them as second citizens in their country. Even labour market also places five to six years experience before such job seeker is qualified which makes many Nigerians to continue to pursue mere paper qualifications to hard work. Even the issue of BSC and HND dichotomy is yet to be threatened by the government despite that some polytechnics were converted to University awarding degrees, yet employment are not given to polytechnic graduates except few ones. The cost of acquiring University degree is quiet expensive yet , employers of labour are not ready to pay a job seeker good salary sometimes delay payment to two to four months. Even some of our political office holders are not PhD holders yet they collect millions of naira as their monthly salaries or sitting allowances in detriment of the Nigerian economy
Finally, President Goodluck Jonathan and his economic team must wake up from slumber to find immediate solutions to the growing unemployment trend in Nigeria while industries should be built and electricity fixed now. BY GODDAY ODIDI, PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST. 08058124798. 20 oro street Ajegunle Apapa Lagos.