JOBS & ‘Life has not been easy for me without a job’
Akombo Aondona holds B. Sc. (Hons) Mass Communication from Benue State University, Makurdi. He did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with the Borno Radio / Television, Maiduguri. In this interview, he says life has not been easy for him since he graduated in 2009 explaining that he has a cassava farm but lack the basic farm input to boost its yield. Excerpts:
What were your expectations while an undergraduate?
My expectation during my undergraduate days was that I thought after graduation, after my NYSC, I will get a good job but unfortunately because of the situation in our country today, it is very hard to get a job, particularly government job; they are not available. It is obvious that every person that go to school aim at not only acquiring knowledge but also getting a meaningful job to earn a living and contribute to nation building. It is my pleasure that I have acquired the knowledge and have experienced the life in the university. During my undergraduate days, expectations were very high looking at the course I was studying. I also expected that with the enough resources we have in Nigeria, even if there is no white collar job, I would be able to establish something for myself and earn a living happily but the reverse is the case; I am sill jobless.
What has been your experience after graduation?
I have excruciating experience; it is very horrible. Till today, I am jobless. The experience I have between 2009 and now is discouraging; I have been moving from one place to another in search of job opportunities, so life has been difficult without a job.
How many institutions have you sought for job opportunities after graduation?
Actually, I have visited many institutions and sought for jobs. I have submitted applications in many different institutions that I cannot even remember both in my field of journalism and other fields like schools, government agencies, commissions, ministries, among others but my prayer is yet to be answered. I can only remember few recent ones which I am still hoping that God can do his miracle. You see I would have worked where I did my NYSC in Borno State; that it BRTV, Maiduguri but the issue of security is very paramount to every individual. You can’t just sacrifice your life because you want to get a job. I left Borno because of the Boko Haram insurgency in the state because government is not doing enough in the area of
From what you have said, It’s like you prefer white collar jobs to engaging in skills acquisition or agriculture….
It is not like I have passion for white collar jobs more than other areas but it’s just because of the Nigerian situation now. If the federal government had invested more money in NYSC such that corps members can save some money and later start something like small scale business, it would have been an appreciable development but since it is not like that, you need to have initial capital before starting any private business that is why I am looking for a job.
Looking at the rate of unemployment in Nigeria, it is obvious that government alone cannot provide job opportunities for its citizens. What other areas have you explored apart from seeking white collar jobs?
I have started a cassava farm even though I am in Abuja now, it is being managed by my relatives but I have limited resources to expand the farm so I need a white collar job that can sustain me for at least ten years to enable me go into a lucrative private enterprise. You see, government has neglected the agriculture sector, it is the sole responsibility of government to create a conducive environment for business to thrive but in our country, government is so adamant, thus, rendering the agric sector comatose. If you have a farm, getting fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides and other farm inputs is always cumbersome; even if they are there, they are being sold at exorbitant prices and not leaving peasant farmers at the mercy of God, so it is very difficult for some of us who wants to invest in agriculture.
You see, I can be a business man. Sincerely speaking, apart from office work, I have the passion of having my own personal business, I mean sole proprietorship but where is the capital? There is no capital to start any business. The government has actually polarize and cripple every aspect of the life of this nation, even people with businesses lack the necessary infrastructure like electricity to operate effectively. Even for you to whole thing is that there is no initial capital to start any business and that is why we jobless graduates are suffering with our certificates in our houses.
The federal government has initiated several policies and programmes aimed at curbing the ugly trend of youth unemployment. Are you not following the developments?
Policy formulation is different from policy implementation. Government policies are just being formulated; government is not even serious about such policies, you just hear them in the media George Akume administration, he tried to establish tomato industry, the industry could have reduced the rate of youth unemployment in that state but unfortunately it is not functional so these are the problems. I know what politicians can do because I have studied the basic aspects of political science and I also relate with politicians very well so do not be carried away by what a politician wake up and call a press conference or briefing to say. With the numerous policies on ground such as YOUWIN, SURE-P and many others, the rate of unemployment is still rising. The youths are not getting jobs but in the media, you read or hear a minister or key government official telling us the number of jobs created, that we have created 20,000 jobs in the first face of this programme, who are those that were enrolled and when was it announced? You see, I am not satisfied with these policies because they have not benefitted me neither do they benefit any of my friends of any other person that I know.
So how are you copping?
You see, this is a very big question and it is the very question you should ask the government. The government has continued to establish universities across the country with thousands of people graduating every year without jobs, what do you expect them to do? A graduate can’t feed himself, a graduate can’t have money for recharge card, a graduate can’t have money to cloth himself; it is a serious matter. You see, when you passed through the university and the university passed through you only for you to later discover that you are frustrated by societal circumstances, life becomes weak and sour. Some of us have the good mind of doing the right thing but you know, some people don’t have the mind. I think the present insecurity in the country is because of the unemployment level because it is not every suffering person that has the mind of peace and order so it is obvious that some graduates will be perpetrating different kinds of evil against the nation. But I pray that let normalcy return to Nigeria, all those perpetrating evil and dragging the nation backward, they shall reap the harsh benefits of their crime from God but I must advise that government at all levels should also do the right thing.