Some weeks back I was going through the newspaper and I came across this colorful full page ad. The color and the fonts made the ad something I could not ignore so I decided to check it out. The headline read 10,000 available jobs. When I saw this, I was like wow! that is great! Someone is trying their best to help the Nigerian youth in their own little way. So of course I read further. The jobs were provided courtesy the government of Imo State. The qualifications needed were listed but the jobs were restricted to only indigen’s of Imo State, then I was like ughh.. so much for a job but on the other side, I still thought it was a good move for those people, hopefully if it works there, other States would try and copy the move and gradually the unemployment rate would go down and hopefully this would bring down the other vices that arise from unemployment.
I kept reading through the ad and suddenly I got this distasteful feeling in my mouth. To be able to apply for any of the jobs, an applicant had to first purchase a scratch card worth N2000 (about $13) from selected banks! After which they go online to apply and then write exams. After all these they would then be reviewed and the preferred candidates would be selected for the jobs. At that point all nerves and trains of thought came to a screeching halt. What! I have to pay to apply for a job? I have to pay to get a job? Wait! The job is not even guaranteed! And its coming from the government not even a private person. Isn’t the governments duty to provide jobs for its people, who have struggled to get the level of education they have? See, getting an education here is not the easiest of things and that is one of the major reasons a lot of us fly out of the country to get an education even if it is still somewhere in the continent. Education here is a struggle, and it starts from before you get in. From resitting JAMB (exam to be written before accepted into any Federal school. Some private schools also request for it) for various reasons (which include cancellation of exam centers after the exam has been written, sale of good results to people who can afford it etc), to when the person finally gets into school to face strikes (which make people spend years in school. sometimes, as bad as extra 8years), sexual harassment from lecturers and students, dangers of cultism, inadequate and poor facilities etc.. Finally the person manages to scale through all these years you tell the person to pay to get a job too! Common! They fail to realize that not everyone is on the same financial level (Remember some of these people have been sponsored through school and live within a dollar). Even though there are people who can afford this sum, some others have struggled to come this far and not given into social vices. It is things like these that breed crime, corruption and greedy people who in turn ruin the country.