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Making the Nigerian Graduates Useful

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Ridwan Ajibade
Member since January 11, 2017
  • 2 Posts
  • Age 26

‘Good afternoon, “corpers”. How are you?’

‘We’re fine and you?’

‘I’m okay. Where is your PPA?’

‘We’re serving at Igbo-odo’.

‘Are you guys in the same place as Seun?’

Seun was the only lady among us whom we were waiting for at the riverbank.

‘Yeah, how do you know her?’ I replied.

‘I do see her cross the river often. I have just finished serving also; I served in Edo state’. He said.

Now, I became more interested in him. I was concerned about his appearance, ‘Really!

‘Yeah, you guys are enjoying here; where I served, things were so bad, the people were so hostile, the environment was nothing to write home about, and exploitation of corps members was at its peak. You had little chance of saving anything from your “alawee”’.

‘Ehen! That’s serious o’.

That was a chat with a recent graduate whom I met in an unexpected place considering his level of education. Actually he is a boat operator, a job common among those you can call the third-class citizens in the country. I was thinking about how bad the situation was throughout the 10-minute boat ride. After the years of labouring and toiling at the university, thinking of making a good living afterwards was the utmost. If this is what it means to be educated in Nigeria, then why waste those precious moments of one’s life in those ivory-towers was the question? Well, one needs to fulfill all righteousness.

Today’s Nigerian graduates have been relegated to trash, an average graduate can only be compared to a boat operator, only few has made it to their desired positions, most of whom are not by merit but by nepotism, you find the majority roaming the streets, increasing the numbers of undesired individuals in the society. Now, who is to blame? This is a question whose answer isn’t far-fetched. The government has failed exclusively in making a young graduate employable. All tentacles that resulted in this menace had their roots from the actions and inactions of government.

Starting with the policy makers in the education sector, our designed education curriculum is far beyond been out-dated. I can bet you that in the majority of these institutions today, the experimental set-ups of 1960s and 70s are still the norms in most science related courses across the nation. How then do we expect potential employer of 21st century to cope with a graduate of such antiquated, yet celebrated system?

Misplacement of priority in the way things are done in this nation is another area of great concern. It is only here you will see the best graduating student in the university being given 10 thousand naira, yet the winner of Big Brother Naija will be smiling home with a sum of 25 million naira and a brand new SUV. An average youngster seeing this on TV will want to be an entertainer, living an immoral life because of the money rather than wanting to get educated. Am not saying being an entertainer is bad, but priority should be given more to learning.

Also, foreigners has been accorded the status of a full-fledged citizen in this country, they have come here to take up the jobs meant for our people. This is common in the aviation sector. It is pitiable to know that more than 500 young pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers are roaming the streets and some taking up diminutive income jobs in order to make ends meet. These are people who spent fortunes in getting themselves trained in those fields, yet not less than a thousand foreigners are in the sector being paid as expatriates. When asked what caused this unpalatable situation, most airlines claimed that they are unemployable because they are just out of school and needed more training, but when not employed, where would they get those training from?

Governments at all levels are hereby called upon to expedite actions on restructuring both the education sector and the work environment policies so as not to make the already worse situation to exacerbate. Considering the population of the graduates yearly, there should be modality on how these graduates will be absorbed into the society through creation of companies, either wholly by the government or by public –private – partnership (PPP). This of course will facilitate a reduction in the numbers of graduates roaming the streets aimlessly.

Professional and entrepreneurial courses should be included in the curriculum, and be made compulsory especially for the final year students; this will increase their chances of making them employable or becoming a job creator.

Finally, I hereby admonish Nigerian youths, that no matter how debauched the situation might be, this is the only country we have, we all need to be united, tackle our problems collectively, see reasons to grow as a nation, and work together in achieving a common goal. God bless Nigeria.

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