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Is There Acute Job Scarcity Or Are We Not Employable?

Hi All,

As the days go by, the stark reality continues to unfold! I read Computer Engineering and currently work with the organisation where I served in Lagos. Many of my pals believe I am very lucky though I don't see myself as being luckier than being able to feed myself! Everybody is telling me that it is hell if I ever venture into the labour market. Those that were seen as the brightest ones in class then are still either hustling or earning below 250k annually after 2 years post NYSC! Complaints everywhere! Are there no jobs or we simply don't meet the standard?

Can somebody tell me what is happening before I loose my mind? P l e a s e!!

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With what i have noticed for few years in this society, majority of Nigerian graduates lack skill and also lack innovation.. Do you know more graduates are out with either pass or third class degrees and to even worsen the whole issue most can not even think constructively about either being Builders, Producers or Supporters through whichever course they have read. Its a sad case, but we all have to look inward and make ourselves better in everything we do. And i bet you will notice jobs,most likely create one yourself and even sell your ideas to people that have the money to finance it; as long as your ideas are realistic , creative and well laid out. You will get a good job or even be a producer of labour.

Just look inwards and look around you, opportunities are everywhere.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 16:17 GMT

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Answering the call of nature in Lagos

BBC News is investigating the changing face of business in Africa, a continent once regarded as a high risk location for investors but now increasingly a place to do business.

Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos where a local entrepreneur is benefiting from a niche in the market - providing portable toilets.

Isaac Durojaiye was sure that his business would succeed

"Years back those who evacuated human waste in Nigeria were ashamed to do the job - they covered their faces so nobody could recognise them.

"But all that is changing now," says Isaac Durojaiye - also known as Otunba Gaddafi - who runs a mobile toilet business called Dignified Mobile Toilets (DMT).

"I named it dignified to show the world that there is dignity in the business," says the former bodyguard whose code name while working in government security circles was Gaddafi.

"There is nothing to be ashamed about human waste, it is a reality - we all have to answer the call of nature."

Confident of success

He started the business in 1992 after observing that there were only about 500 functional public toilets in Nigeria, a country with a population of more than 130m.

The toilets are becoming a familiar sight in Nigeria's major cities

"Even then most of the public toilets were poorly maintained," he says.

Mr Durojaiye says his mobile toilets which are made of high quality plastic materials are available for sale, rent and for leasing. DMT maintains the toilets and its specialized trucks evacuate the human waste twice a week from each toilet.

He recalls that when he set up the business he was confident of success given that with a population of Nigeria's size, there is a huge demand for public toilets.

Social service

The toilets are becoming a familiar sight at densely populated public places like bus stops and motor parks in major Nigerian cities.

"We are performing a major social service as we are eliminating the need for people to defecate in public places," he says.

Each toilet according to him typically serves about 100 people each day for a fee of 20 Nigerian naira per usage.

A typical day's proceeds works out at about $15 which is a fairly good income by Nigerian standards.

And for a fee, businesses can advertise their products on the toilet doors. To date, about 25% of DMT's revenue comes from advertising.

The company is also working on plans to recycle the waste collected to generate bio-gas, electricity and fertilizer for farmers.

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i feel ur pains

we need the tymly intervention

of  the supernatural!

the market i growin daily

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i agreee with you seun

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There's no such thing as scarcity of jobs. Where there are problems to be solved, there are jobs.

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The fact is there are no jobs. And the few that abound are oversubscribed where the issue of connection comes into play. Besides there are situation where older people that have attained the age of retirement, doctor their age and occuppy positions that should ordinarily be filled by young graduates because of fear of the unknown. Pensioneers are dying daily no thanks to govt. inability to pay pension to the retiree.

The standard of living is worsening by the day and our level of development is far from improving. Bad leadership characterised by mismanagent of the country's resources, Leaders who were corrupt and lacked focus and vision for the country's future. Our population could have been a strenght to us but the reverse 'because its now like a disadvantage. No body want to do menial jobs because we lack the enabling environment that provides the motivation.

Which graduate wants to suffer after spending so many years in school? True everyone cannot work in the bank or do a white collar job but then it's rather unfair to work as an elephant and eat like a mouse.

Something has to be done.

God help us. (Amen)

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The course you studied in the university or polytechnic is only to give you a formal education. You need more than that to succeed in life and that is where skills come into place

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kokolet you are wrong. your skills in life has got nothing to do with the course you read.

Secondly no course is unless.Correct that notion okay.We all cant be doctors or engineers

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Kimba I understand you totally well on the issue of expatriate in nigeria.

Brother it is killing.I am gainfully employed so am talking out of exprience.This is reason why I will lay my life down for transcorp

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kokolet you are wrong. your skills in life has got nothing to do with the course you read.

Secondly no course is unless.Correct that notion okay.We all cant be doctors or engineers

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By this I do not mean education, I am referring to RELEVANT SKILLS. You do not need to look too much around before you understand what I mean. I have a friend who runs a Human Resources company and his experience has shown me that people lack relevant skills. OK, what can we say account for a situation whereby the same set of people are the ones getting jobs. A friend had like 3 job offers at the same in this same country while so many others are still looking to at least get something that will guarantee them some money at the end of the month.

The company where I work now placed an advert in the Nigerian dailies some weeks ago requesting for some specific skills. You would be surprised at the number of resume that came but with little relevant skills. I believe people just forward their resume to companies as soon as they see any advert without taking time out to critically examine what those companies are looking for.

Those that even have the relevant skills displayed in the resume do not have it in the real sense when you get to speak with them. No employer wants to put liability in his/her office. Every employer is all out to maximise profit and as such, will always go for the best in the industry. I would suggest that we start acquiring the basic skills we need. remember, "Success is when Opportunity meets preparation"

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There's no such thing as scarcity of jobs.  Where there are problems to be solved, there are jobs.  The problem seems to be that people are not satisfied by the jobs available, which is like businesses complaining about lack of customers instead of asking why they are not being patronized.  Employability is something you owe yourself.

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@ poster,

@ topic,

There are so many evil spices that contribute to the fact that a lot of Nigerians(qualified and overqualified) are walking the streets with nothing to do. Hopefully I can enumerate some:

FIRST:

Please kindly enumerate on :

The skills most employers are looking for can not be found around here.

Which skills are these? lack of education or which one.

Nigerians are the most educated ethnic group in the United States. Most of these peeps "have another degree besides their first degree" which makes them more marketable. (I think I posted the weblink to the above info somewhere on another forum). On a more serious note: the majority of them(Nigerians in America who contribute immensely to been the most educated ethnic group in America) completed their first degrees in Nigeria.

Are we saying that it is easier to get jobs in America than in Nigeria? NO. In fact, many times its harder, because of the THE-EDUCATIONAL-STANDARD-OF-YOUR-COUNTRY'S bruhaha. Still, those Nigerians are making everyone proud.

THE EXPATRIATE DILEMA: expats taking up jobs for which qualified Nigerians are available

I've observed that Nigerians always want to learn and that once you can keep a Nigerian employee always learning, doing new things everyday, he/she will be happy, basically its called CHALLENGES.

The problem ive observed is that the typical Nigerian BOSS, CEO, CTO or whoever owner of the company is looking for somebody that knows it all, someone who has all the professional experience and all the educational whateva(it happens everywhere),  and even though the Nigerians he sees around might know-it-all on paper, he doubts their professional know-how since they don't have the experience. Noting that the number of professionals is quite less than the number of young graduates pouring out of the Universities on a yearly basis, he resorts to employing expatriates, who would draw 5-6times a monthly salary as much as he would have paid a fresh grad who might stay in his company for 2-3years as long as new things are happening everyday.

I have no problem with expatriate employment, as long as the expatriate is very-much qualified for the job. I myself having been a foreigner for many years in another man's land and an expatriate too, I know the definition of very-much-qualified.

Very-much-qualified would mean you have a skill that is non-existent or for which there is an acute shortage of graduates and people skilled in the field. In many countries abroad, before you can even get the job, you must have been screened and some countries could be so tough(ex: China, Hongkong, Korea, Macau, Australia) to really insist that you cannot get the job except it is proven that there are no skilled/qualified indegenes who can do the same job. Fine, you would have applied and might wait for months, because the company would be mandated and re-mandated over and over again to advertize the job position over and over again, at least a month straight, and that should there be no other applicant, then you get the job. The truth is: while the job is been advertized, should there be an indegene applicant with one-fifth of the skills you have, they would give him/her the job, even if such has to be trained to acquire the skills (which you would have naturally brought into the job).

Its not the same here. Coming home, Ive come across a lot of foreigners who know next to nothing and who are in managerial positions, and this makes me to wonder what is happening. The situation above is common in companies owned and operated by foreigners in Nigeria - for which Nigeria has no say INPUT except that THAT YOU FOR INVESTING IN NIGERIA. The bad news is there is no government organization in Nigeria, no central body, no commission and no one in charge, that these foreign owned and operated companies have to answer to before they employ their own citizens(as expatriates) to fill job positions for which Nigeria has too many qualified people walking the streets.

Imagine this: I heard about a 24yr old foreigner, 2005 Business diploma(not B.Sc) holder,  who worked for a clerk for 8-months in his country(Lebanon) and now is working in Nigeria as an expatriate(earning dollars) as a Sales manager, managing Nigerian "sales executives" who have worked for 3-4years(without promotion) with proper University First degree qualifications, memberships of Professional bodies, ICAN etc, etc,. One of such who told me the story tells me that his manager could hardly understand English and that they(sales executives) usually have problems explaining "simple things" to him, even after been in Nigeria on the job. Why? he doesnt understand, the guy is still in mode-learning. He can't even use a computer proficiently. So I asked my friend: "WHO GAVE YOUR MANAGER A VISA TO NIGERIA? DIDNT THEY ASK FOR HIS CV AT THE NIGERIAN EMBASSY THERE?" The truth is: even if they asked for his CV, who were they to report the matter to?

Now tell me: Under what circumstances should a 2005 marketting grad come to Nigeria as an expatriate. I think someone should ask the question: WHAT DOES HE KNOW?

And is there anything that Nigerians cannot sell - even if we forget other areas.  A correct Ibo man or woman will market anything, which is a natural skill.  This is not the first of such stories I will hear. There are hundreds of these foreigners pouring into Nigeria on a weekly basis, FYI making salaries they couldn't dream of making in their countries on a monthly basis.

Is there any reciprocity/bilateral and mandatory agreement,  whatever between Nigeria and these countries/foreign owned companies to make sure that since Nigeria offers these expats these JOBS(for which they are earning higher compared to what they earned in their own country), THEREFORE Nigerians should be given work opportunities in such a country, under the same set of circumstances and for the same requirements that these foreigners get jobs here? NO.

We are more in need of INVESTMENTS and we have thrown away all caution to the wind and allowed our heads to be trampled upon. This doesnt mean that the countries involved will grant Nigerians visas to go on business trips - if we are talking of genuine ones.

Is there any LAW mandating these companies to employ Nigerians? not just as cleaners and STAFF-without portfolio, but into Mandatory Management positions? NONE.  Even Mike Adenuga told his staff that there is no law binding him to employ Nigerians to work for him, and that he's doing Nigerians "JUST A FAVOR".  The number of expats in the country is increasing day by day and with such a trend continuing, it will soon get explosive. Who is doing something about it? Tell me,

Lets turn the tables around and ask if its possible for a Nigerian "mogul" to go set up a company abroad and be exporting Nigerians(without qualifications) to fill Managerial positions in his foreign based company(just because they are home-boy Nigerians)? The answer is NO, because the constution of those countries will mark his(business man) every move, every salary paid and to whom/how it is paid. This is just one of the problems.

Note: im not saying all expats are unqualified for their jobs. What im saying is: Let Nigerians be given first consideration where applicable. That is how it is around the world.

TIWAN TIWAN SYSTEM

Even though less and less of tribal marks are seen on the faces of Nigerians of the 20th century, i think the tribalism that still exists deep within the heart is too alarming. In some banks, you can immediately smell the ethnicity of the staff. Usually, the majority of them will be speaking one language. On the other hand, take out a department for example and look at its HEAD and staff. Many times, you find out that should their be a vacancy in that department, the HEAD would be more interested in one-of-our-own and would rather tell her TEAM to go scout for anyone they know to come and apply for the job. Definitely it becomes a call-your-relatives(forget whether they are suited for the job or not) idea. So those who don't have relatives continue walking the street.

SELF and NATIONAL- INVESTMENTS

The attitude whereby everyone is looking for quick and immediate money is ruining so many things. First, people don't invest in themselves. I know people who havent made any professional advancement for the past 3-4 working years. Its more like they just sit there, collecting salary, and waiting for every friday, when they can show the latest fashion in their place of work. The result: in the next 5-years when technology washes over, they are left in the past.

Forget about the fact that there are so many research institutions littering the country. The question is what are they doing. Something doesnt need to exist if we can't see its impact. Fine, so we say there is no funding from the government etc. So why will there be funding from the government if these institutions havent done anything tangible with the past allocations they've had so far. They wont be given any more funding if they havent achieved anything in investments in them of the past. The problem is actually 2-fold. First: the gov'ts lack of fund and then the lack of output of the funded Institution/parastatal or whateva. I once visited the library of the NMC(National Mathematical Center). I think that was in 2004. Ancient books and manuals were all I saw. To say it was a SHAME would mean that im just been kind. If the govt can't fund its research institutions, how can they achieve something tangible? thats the question. Then if they are funded and nothing tangible is achieved, why should they be re-funded. Who/where are the Leadership. Are they qualified for the job? what are they doing? if they are not performing, can they be replaced? Its more of a needed round-table discussion, its more of the need for strong leadership, not just the sme-sme appointments that we have going on.

ENTERPRENEURSHIP

I think Nigerians should be looking for what to do for themselves. The fact that the govt has failed and is failing is not good news and we can't just continue like this. Enterprenurship is more than "let me go into this business that everybody is going into". It takes dedication, commitment and a nack for setting goals and achieving them. The great companies that we see today were all as a result of individual effort. Many of them are not govt establishments.

The days of being a proud Nigerian Civil servant are over. You work for the government and you wont get your pension or gratuity. No hope, its total shame. After 30years of working for the Nigerian government, you would have to line up in front of Civil Service Commission because the hard-disk of the SERVER crashed and therefore a TOTAL REVERIFICATION has to be done in Abuja. The problem is that the HARD-DISK OF THIS SERVER crashes every 6-months because NEPA TOOK LIGHT WHILE THE SERVER WAS RUNNING and while thousands of pensioners travel to Abuja for reverification, some die on the way, others have accidents and a whole lot of them sleep at the Eagle's square because they have no relatives in Abuja. Then the pension planners come with their micro-phones and start the Let-us-help-you seminar. If you want to be helped, you go line up in front of the Pension office, and then the next church prayer request will be PLEASE HELP ME PRAY ABOUT THE PROCESSING OF MY PENSION. Soon the pastor begins to cast out the PROCESSING SPIRITS and begins to bind and loose the spirit of the devil in the life of the staff of the civil service and the pension commission. Can I continue? This kind of scenario is the reason why there is a spirit behind everything in Nigeria. Some people can talk so convincely about it that you might be roughed up if you are not careful.

The pension planners and marketters today with all their sweet packages and promises, might declare bankruptcy in the next 30-40years when the present young generation might be looking into retirement.  Then we start another series of STORIES.  Banks have just consolidated. Can they produce records of transactions of a random client for the past 5-years? NO. Not even Zenith Bank can try it. In between the crashes of computers and damages of equipments, valuable data is lost. How much more pension managers/management whose future is uncertain.

just as the saying goes: everything-just-get-as-it-be!!!

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I think the major problem of unemployment in this country has to do with the kind of courses we read, some people just go into the university to read anything and they believe that at the end of the day when they come out they will get a job.

people should lean to read something they can easily sell when they are out of school, can you imagine people  reading psychology, philosophy, anthropology, religious knowledge, history, environmental science, physical education and they expect to get a job in the bank, oil company and so  on.  the problem is we have a lot of graduates today who actually went to school to waste 5 good years reading rubbish and wasting money and time instead of leaning a trade.

You complain that we have a lot of graduates out there without jobs,  have you checked their grades, any person that has finished an higher institution is a graduate but have you checked what the person came out with? some came out with a pass and they will be the first to be shouting that there are no jobs in the country. how do you expect a third class to get a job where a first class  has applied too, or where a masters holder has applied too. some will tell you i read engineering yes you read engineering but  what did you come out with?  It is not all about spending five years in the university and coming out with rubbish and expect one employer to  employ you.  the market is hot and every one is looking for the best, not  just workers but the one that can make a change and bring about profit.

I still believe that there are jobs in Nigeria, the only things is that a lot of graduates are not employable, come to think of it there are a lot of establishments that need workers, but can you believe that it is only when you conduct interviews that you know what is happening in Nigeria, first of all you screen  some out cos of their grade levels, some because of their performance in  aptitude test, and then finally after the interview, you see some graduates that cannot make full sentences and they tell you that they are graduates, can you employ such if you are an employer? Lets be realistic about this things, people should not just go into the university for the sake of it and when you do get there make  sure you read and make good grades not with blocking cos I am sure there is not dumb human being, we all a brilliant people it only takes  hard work for you to know that you are.

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Secondly, you will be surprised at how many Europeans hate their jobs if you bother to ask. You are looking at it through the rose-tinted glasses of someone coming from Africa. Apart from toilet sanitation and window cleaning, customer support is another job that no-one would take if not for the money. There are so many critical jobs like that.

When I started Nairaland, I would rather have been creating computer processors and operating systems. But there was a demand for web traffic and here I am. Even though I hate it sometimes, the income makes it worthwhile.

A job-seeker is just like a business and an employer is just like a customer. It is not the duty of a customer to patronize any business. Rather, it's the duty of a business to provide whatever the customer wants. Period.

Exactly! Somebody has to do those less dignified jobs, so I think we should stop looking down on them.

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@ the poster,it is sad but the situation has been the same since the nineties.

Many of us here in the states would have been home if our country was in a better shape.

I wish you the best.

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to be sincere,the truth of the matter is that their are two sides, firstly ,there are few jobs for just tooooooooo many graduates but in the other case some graduates are not employable in the sense that they dont have what it takes to secure a job.These days securing a job is the survival of the fittest,I think securing a job is the only course we are not taught in our schools which we have to learn on our own,like answering interwiew questions,preparing a good c.v,marketing ur strenths and so on.

we should start looking within ourselves to do somthing that will make

us to have an edge over peers.

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If we all get the jobs we desire, there will be no progress, no economic growth. Some jobs are not very glamorous, but they help to move the society forward - which is why they are not scarce. Embrace those jobs. ;-)

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Hi,

I am sure you are not the only one in this. You may need to read http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-29002.0.html. Meanwhile, I would like you to brace up for what lies ahead. I would like to tell you that jobs are available but very few people are available to fill the positions. What do I mean? The skills most employers are looking for can not be found around here. So, I would suggest that you should decide on the type of country you would like to work and start working on developing the necessary skills that will take you there. Very soon, your story will change. All the best in your job search.

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There are too many people running after too few jobs. That is the way it is in Nigeria at the moment.

If you can't find a job, then start your own company. Study what people may need and sell the product/service to them. Nigerians love to sit around and wait for people to hand them jobs, you have to create your own life and not expect anyone to do the hard work for you

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