Job Buying, The New Normal in Nigeria

By Lawan Bukar Maigana

The menace of unemployment has been a problem that many countries are identified with—even though it is rated by a percentage, which has consistently portrayed the likes of Nigeria as unproductive nations in terms of creating job opportunities for the citizens. Many experts had extrapolated that poverty is the causative agent of all kinds of social vises because most perpetrators are relatively poor, unskilled, and uncreative. There might be other explainable factors but poverty tops
them.

Gone are the days when university students will graduate and get employed upon completing their NYSC. I always smile and nod my head when I remember the days of our astute university lecturers whose appointment letters were waiting for them in the office of the Head of Department in the 1980s. One of them told us in our evening class how easier it was for a graduate to get a paying job during their time. I still envy them but I am sure that, that Nigeria has died a long time ago.

How I wish I can transpose myself to their time—I would have been employed with a happy family but I can’t and I don’t expect to experience anything similar to it any time soon because of what the country has become. Nepotism loomed all and sundry. Only a few get employed by merit—most get through connections. This development alone has killed the spirit of education in many minds especially the children of the poor. I’ve heard many children childishly saying that they want to start a business or Learn some skills that will help them financially. They seem childish but they make sense to many grown-up men.

Recently, I discussed with a friend who is a graduate of Nile University in Abuja about the power of connection (nepotism) in Nigeria. He told me that among his colleagues were sons and daughters of the haves, who were not coming to class for lectures and couldn’t construct a meaningful error-free paragraph but they graduated with flying colors and most of them are now working with some of Nigeria’s big government agencies while he that attended all classes, constructed good sentences and presented many papers, is still unemployed. That is worrisome, he said.

A few weeks ago, the senator representing Northern Bauchi at the National Assembly, Adamu Muhammad Bulkacuwa was pointed at with an accusing finger for an issue he had with his constituent over employment. The constituent was said to have phoned the senator several times, asking him to provide a job for him. The senator got upset and told him that he wasn’t voted for worshipping sake and therefore he will not secure the job for him. That is just one out of many reasons to believe that one has to have someone before he gets employed. The constituent wouldn’t have asked for the favor if everything was okay.

On February 1st, 2022, the Punch published that about 15,000 University graduates and others have applied for the Oyo State Traffic Management Agency job vacancies online. The Chairman of the agency, Dr. Akin Fagbemi, states on Monday while updating newsmen on the ongoing recruitment process in the agency. That is all to testify to you that the country is battling massive unemployment which is gradually becoming a threat to the country’s security.

The rate of unemployment in Nigeria has risen to 18.80 percent in the last quarter of 2017, and it is expected to have worsened by now despite the several promises by the government to alleviate poverty by creating job opportunities for both educated and uneducated across the country which is still a mere claim in the air in many states.

Lawan Bukar Maigana Writes from Wuye District Abuja and can be reached at [email protected]

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