“If you argue that Dangote’s ‘Graduate Driver Academy’ isn’t an insult to the years you spent at the university, then you deserve to be a driver”
The tweet above dragged me into an extended debate with a couple of folks who thought that I was being senseless. Their arguments? “After all, Dangote is first and foremost a businessman.”, “How many university graduates are employable?”.
Fair comments, after all as a capitalist, the rot in our academia and our high rate of unemployment aren’t his business. That is, until we take a big picture perspective on things.
As Africa’s richest man and by implication, Nigeria’s richest man too, Dangote has a very big stake in the quality of our university education, government of the day, social economic security, and more. How could he not? His business survival and growth is hinged on these. Let’s move on.
A university education is supposed to sharpen the mind of an individual, broaden his/her horizon, and make him/her amenable to new knowledge and experiences. Typically, a university education (or lack of it) should exclude you from certain kinds of jobs. For example, after four years of university education, it must be demoralizing to end up behind a bank cage doing number but running other people’s cash through a money counting machine or in my opinion driving one of Dangote’s trucks.
According to the Merriam Web-ster Dictionary, ra·tio·nal·iza·tion is a noun which means, “the act, process, or result of rationalizing; especially : the provision of plausible reasons to explain to oneself or others behavior for which one’s real motives are different and unknown or unconscious”.
I have heard a lot of arguments rationalizing why there’s no big deal with Dangote’s program:
“Dangote is setting up a top notch logistics company and a person who starts out as a driver can move to other jobs and grow in the company.”
Let’s be clear – logistics and supply chain management are highly skilled and specialized areas, driving is not. Universities offer post-graduate programs in these fields. No university offers as much as a Bachelors degree in driving. The point here is that driving definitely cannot be on the management/executive track of Dangote’s organization. A driver most likely has a one in one thousand chance of making that crossover and become a management employee.
That’s not good enough.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.