by Stanley Azuakola
Good news for the teeming unemployed in the country… or embarrasing news, depending on how you want to look at the cup –half-full or half-empty.
The Dangote Group is looking for truck drivers. The thing is Dangote being Dangote, the company isn’t looking for just any truck driver to meet its transport division’s needs. It desewants graduates.
This recruitment is part of a new initiative being put together by the Dangote group called “the Drivers Academy.” In a statement on the Dangote website, the company said that the scheme aims to create opportunities for gainful employment for jobless youths in the country.
The company expects that the scheme would revolutionise the road transport sector of the economy and promote professionalism.
Here’s what spokesman for the group, Tony Chiejina, had to say: “the Academy seeks to provide the talent pipeline for the Group while filling the industrial skill-gap in Nigeria. As a result, the Academy just initiated a project called, ‘The Drivers Academy’ which aims at recruiting and training 2,000 Nigerian graduates to become professional heavy-duty vehicle drivers for the newly established Super Fleet of the Group.
“It is hoped that this initiative will assist to uplift the operating standards in road transport industry, promote entrepreneurship and open up various career opportunities.”
(As an aside, the way the spokesman sounded there, you wouldn’t believe it’s just drivers they want to recruit.)
Expectedly, the announcement has produced some backlash. Nigerians are proud people you see. To the average Nigerian (when in public), it is unthinkable for a graduate who spent four to seven years in a higher institution to then pursue a career in truck driving.
However, unconfirmed reports say drivers in the Dangote fleets are very well paid. A lady who spoke to YNaija on condition of anonymity said that as far back as 2001, drivers in Dangote were being paid as much as N240,000 a month (you read that right, by the way.)
It would be interesting to go observe proceedings on interview day. Knowing Nigerians, after all the outrage expressed on Twitter, Facebook and other forums, a host of graduates would be there with their CVs in tow ready to ride for Africa’s richest man.
If you’re not interested in the offer, you can stop reading now.
You’re still reading? Oh, okay, here are the requirements:
•Candidates should have a B.Sc., HND, OND or NCE certificate (in any discipline)
•Not less than 25 years of age
•Responsible and mature
•No prior driving experience required
Notice that you do not even need to know how to drive a car to apply. Yeah. The Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria would offer intensive training programme to successful candidates on safe and defensive driving, as well as basic vehicle maintenance and upkeep. On completion of training, successful candidates would be issued with heavy vehicle driving license and offered employment in Dangote Transport.
Of course you can visit the company website for more details.