Between Employees and Employers

By Stanley Bentley

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Nigerian graduates are not employable.  Many of you must have heard that statement.  Some might find it offensive. Some will say it is an accurate assertion. Personally, I think a more reasonable way to put it is that some Nigerian graduates are not employable. Most people who make this statement are of course Nigerian graduates. To whom we apportion the blame is a story for another day.

Let’s do a quick exercise, get a pen and paper. Write down a minimum of ten ideal Nigerian employers. If you are done, how many did you write? Let me guess, not up to 10, maybe 5 or 7. This is an unfortunate scenario that nobody delves into. They do not talk about it.

Before we continue, an ideal employer is that employer who fulfills the dreams of his employees. An ideal employer provides accommodation, provides transportation, and provides healthcare for his employees. Creates a system that enables them grow. If these are not obtainable in your place of work, then you are not earning a living, you are just earning salary. You are just working, you don’t have a job. You are underemployed not employed.

Now, go back to your list, check and recheck if the enumerated employers provide the aforementioned characteristics. Oh yes, I can see you delisting some of them. These employers champion the crusade that Nigerian graduates are not employable. An employer who cannot or doesn’t provide his employees with basic benefits has no locus standi to say that Nigerian graduates are not employable. I am not making a case for Nigerian graduates. I just think it is disrespectful to blatantly talk down on someone who has spent years in a tertiary institution. “You hypocrite, first get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your brother’s eye.” Mathew 7:5

I have met some graduates whose orientation is quite deplorable but that is not to say that if they are unfit to work for XYZ organization, they cannot work in ABC Company.  In any case, our school system may not be equipped to offer best training, our lecturers may not be sound upstairs because they are a product of the same system but we can make personal efforts to update and upgrade ourselves and avoid derogatory remarks from quack employers.

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