The importance of a job has always been since the earliest times. Everybody once had a job from the start, in fact, creation itself was a job. Everything that surrounded the early man had a dint of job in it. Truth to tell God does respect a hard worker, little wonder the tower of babel project was stopped by the almighty because of the unquenchable quest for achievement that heralded the construction of the tower. on further pondering, the question ‘what is a job’ comes to mind again nagging and niggling, some people even use other words to describe a job, words like occupation and career are used frequently. Although there might not be a consensus definition, but a job is an essential tool in paying the bills. My definition might be a bit cheesy but that is what a job does. With a job, basic obligations are met; among these obligation include feeding, shelter, health services, and some obligations akin to Nigerians: money for fuel for generator, ‘aso ebi’, bribe for the police at check point e.t.c. In getting this job an understanding is reached, in the sense that there is a need for a minimum of university education that does not qualify you totally because the job market is already saturated. To shed more light on university education, the grade is of essence because finishing school with a second class lower makes the situation even more precarious unless you are highly ‘connected’. It would interest you to know that, with the trend of failed companies and the heart wrenching economic times, getting a job has even become harder. Am sure you will ask ‘where there jobs before?’. Apart from the niggling economic crises, are Nigerian graduates really prepared? It is worthy to note that we presently have a university system in Nigeria that has placed less emphasis on the personal development of the individual, but more emphasis on grades. I think that a very prominent problem in the system is the emphasis on certificates and not what an individual can do. Education is light they say, but an education that pays emphasis on grades, not development, is like lighting the candle and putting it under the bed while you try to see. At first a restructuring of the educational system should be of the essence in tackling this problem.
Secondly, there is a problem of value system. It is evident that we have a mortified value system in this country and that has rubbed on the youth, despite the fact that you need the prerequisite qualification and despite the shout about no jobs, some youths in Nigeria still get jobs because of their good attitude. I remember the story of a friend that got a job just by greeting an elderly man at the gate, who turned out to be the head of the interview panel, although i know we will not always have it this simple but efforts must be made at enhancing character.
Another fundamental factor is the government. The government oversees the economy and does make efforts at creating jobs, but reverse is the case in Nigeria. It is sad that we have a government that has systematically neglected the youths like a nursing mother hating the site of a soiled diaper, but thanks to democracy, there is a new light that can only get brighter with time. The government factor is key because stability matters before provision of jobs.
It should be stated that the cry for jobs by youths should be redressed. A key point in all this is that every youth should be able to create a job; This ushers in the next point that why most graduates do not have a job is that they have not created one. we all understand that there is a tough economic climate out there. Also the educational system and lack of business skills among graduates has been a bane, but there should be a redefined passion at entrepreneurship by the graduates. If a graduate cannot get a job he should provide one by starting up anything he finds his passion in. It is a pity that education has increased our stereotypes and we have become selective even in poverty. Everybody wants to do a office job that is not there again. The world we live in today, people work from their rooms and they make profit. Another problem i see is starting. The truth must be told-all start ups are hard. There is no free lunch anywhere, but with persistence success is achieved. Everything cannot just change in a clean sweep, it takes time. the truth is, working for somebody can never give you financial independence, it starts from doing something for yourself. Starting small is the name of the game, and a concise work must be done at ensuring that we revolutionize the economy, by rekindling an entrepreneurship mindset.
with all intent and purposes why most Nigerian graduates don’t have a job is because they have not created one. As Isaac Newton clearly states: ‘the height that great men attained was not by a flight but through handwork that they did while their counterparts whiled away the time’.
BY OSENI RUFAI