Temitope Shittu-Alamu: Is there any hope for the Nigerian graduate?

Photo credit: naijacampus.com.ng

by Temitope Shittu-Alamu

Of course many will get jobs whether by merit or by some mysterious “long legs” but it doesn’t change the fact though that unemployment is a big issue in Nigeria.

Last week, I celebrated with friends who were recently called to the Nigerian bar. As usual, besides the speeches and long talks it was another excuse for Nigerian women to throw parties. The joy was completely contagious as nearly 4000 freshly called Barristers filled the hall in their black and white ensemble.

I tried to imagine what was going through the minds of most parents that day. Perhaps many thought finally they had done their bit for their children and could now rest. I imagined they would now say to themselves; “oh it was all worth it”.

What I did not imagine though was that parents would begin to fear whether or not their child was good enough. At the event, I heard a woman say to another: “What will I do if Dan does not get a very good job?” She hoped all their efforts would not be frustrated by the unemployment in Nigeria. Throughout the day, I thought about this conversation.

Of course many will get jobs whether by merit or by some mysterious “long legs” but it doesn’t change the fact though that unemployment is a big issue in Nigeria. Many more will still not get jobs. I wondered if my friends will get good jobs. I hoped for them. And in the midst of all the rice eating and bustle, I asked myself; is there any hope for the Nigerian graduate?

It occurred to me that not only was Nigeria churning out lawyers yearly but also doctors, pharmacists, geologists, linguists, musicians and philosophers with no platform to function. Again I hoped. I hoped that an adequate employment structure will be put in place and youths will be the breath of fresh air in the Nigerian Civil service.

I hoped that soon more young people will be able to channel their passion and drive into the economy, politics, culture and lifestyle of Nigeria through entrepreneurial skills, fashion, literature, music and science. That we will with creativity build the Nigeria of our dreams. I hoped that Nigerian youths will study what they enjoyed and not be intimidated by parents or society. I thought of how many young people like Kemi Adetiba and Dare Art Alade woke up to chase their dreams.

I hoped that we will find our footing and bring our parents the joy that they very much deserve in their old age. I hoped that our own children would not ask us how we made a mess of what was ours. I hoped that Nigeria will produce people who could stand recognized anywhere in the world. I hoped that we would truly be the future.

 I wondered as my new barrister friends wore their wigs if they would uphold justice… I hoped.


Temitope Shittu-Alamu, is a writer, an eclectic public speaker and master of ceremonies with a degree in History and International Relations. Passionate about the media and of a strong believe that “it is my platform to building the Nigeria of my dreams”. Blog: eclectictope.wordpress.com. Twitter; @eclectictope

Comments (4)

  1. Got a report earlier this year that in the next decade, the global economy faces the challenge of creating 6 million jobs if it must remain stable. That same weekend, Access bank merged Intercontinental and sacked over 1,000 staff members. The immediate question that popped into my mind is "How many of these 6M jobs will I create?". There is hope for the Nigerian graduate but that hope lies in him/her realising that our country today needs less of job-seekers but more of job-providers and finding his/her own footing as a job provider. Superb piece chum!

  2. I pitch my tent with you.It's a pity that a lot of Nigerian youths don't even understand the system they are operating in(the economy and government)as such they bank their hope on non existing opportunities "white collar jobs".The sooner we sanitize our minds,prepare ourselves by getting ourselves trained in a certain vocation , believing that we can create jobs rather than look for one.I am doing great personally(Grandeur Plan and Services) and I believe you can too…very soon I am taking it to secondary schools in Akwa Ibom,…watch out.

  3. Great thinking, great writing…

    We all have these questions – some of us voice them, but some of us rather not probably because we are like 'what's the point'?

    Great write-up dear…awesome

  4. Interesting read…I think a lot of people forget we're in a capitalist economy. It's all about Entrepreneurship. Our education system (even from secondary schools) needs to be over-hauled & replaced with the latest trends/courses/curriculum in Business, Technology & Entrepreneurship…That way even before graduation, the average Nigerian is well-equipped to go out there. Nice one Temi…

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