Jigawa Youths: White Collar Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Quota System By Ibrahim Sani

Jigawa Youths: White Collar Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Quota System By Ibrahim Sani

AREWA AGENDA – For most Youths, the choice between settling for a white collar job and venturing into the world of business enterprise has always been a tricky one because white collar jobs at State, Federal or even juicy private sector and Non Governmental Organizations on the one hand have job security prospects while on the other hand, alot of competition and jostling for limited but highly coveted slots makes it practically not feasible to address the rising cases of youth unemployment.

Therefore, simply banking on the Federal and State quota system to hand down jobs to us is simply not going to cut it out. Young people need to explore ways at making themselves job creators rather than job seekers.

The competition is as real as it gets therefore raising issues of dominance and contestations in the North West.
Therefore, how are we making sure that we truly stand out as highly skilled young people from Jigawa State? How do we out-compete our peers first of all, in the ‘Kano State’ dominated North Western region? What skills have we equipped ourselves with, given that these days, just an NCE, OND, HND Bachelors Degree and perhaps even Masters qualification doesn’t really make one stand out, because virtually every other young person has one or many combinations of these certificates. In addition to that, what do we say about the dilapidated state of our tertiary institutions? How does a routinely educated youth from Jigawa State, North Western Nigeria stack up after undergoing what passes for tertiary education in Nigeria? All these rhetorical questions aren’t to paint a grim picture, discredit our talented and hard working youth or our education system, it is to draw a contrast and ask ourselves hard questions only we can answer.

As can be gleaned from the poll we ran on behalf of @Ringim212, asking Jigawa state youth to choose between A million Naira in start-up funding/capital to go into business, or a NGN150,000 per month job, working to say the government or private sector.

Our Jigawa state youth resoundingly opted for the 150k Job. Although 36% chose the Million Naira start-up capital, which is commendable. While we do not look down on anybody’s choice, in fact some of us will make the same choice as the majority, and in fact we did. But critically looking at it. Say You scale through the rigorous recruitment and employment criteria and exercises, and are among the top 2% who usually get selected in free and fair recruitment exercises, what is the guarantee that you find job satisfaction on the Job and stay? giving that someone like you (in the top 2 percentile) has the potential to not just use your skills to start something big and successful, but to possibly employ your peers and reduce unemployment in our society.

Let’s factor in things like the turbulent and unstable state of work in the private sector, where one can easily get phased out due to economically induced retrenchment or due to low performance, or work in NGOs without necessarily employment benefits like retirement and healthcare benefits etc, and the fact that most of the work is contract based and can leave someone feeling like they’ve given away their life for nothing, and are unemployed later, after the expiration of their contact etc. All this aside, let’s talk about the remaining 98% of those who don’t belong to the top 2% in terms of skills and perhaps IQ, where do they go to get something to do? Aside that, what are we doing, being that we most likely fall within that 98% of employable youth? I would say that the best is to take advantage of technology and the high demand for certain skillsets and services in our society? Or do we just continue sitting with our certificates waiting for providence?
Now back to the issue of Quota system.
We all know what it is, and I’m not going to mince words here, we all know that the quota system was put in place to cater to the employment needs of the highly ‘connected’ as we say. Most of us in the 98% of the population will find it even harder to get our hands on those quota system Jobs, because we can’t all be connected and we can’t all get it and not everyone is that lucky. So if we’re not ‘lucky’ enough to have our names ‘inserted’ in the list of those who get the quota system Jobs, we aren’t in the top 2 percentile when it comes to aptitude and IQ in our state, what then do we do? A good solution is Entrepreneurship, Innovation and hard work to build our skills and make our self so useful that people will pay us money in exchange for our professional services and the things we can manufacture or value we can create.

For example, I personally know someone who makes so much money from just simply translating things online to and from their native language and into English and vice versa, this person is puts lots of effort in developing their linguistic skills. I know someone who although studied Law and even went to law school, learned how to code on YouTube and today builds websites, blogs and marketplaces for people in as far away as the United States, and that person is in Jigawa state and has even built an app for the government.

Today I look at our youth, with the abundance of learning resources out there on the internet, and feel sorry for us, because it seems we are more concerned with what is trending on Twitter or the latest challenge on Tik Tok, or watching celebrities on Insta live and taking part in unproductive things that guarantee neither our future nor our intellectual growth. While I don’t think doing these mentioned things is bad per se, I feel it’s high time we quit lamenting our collective sorry state, take the driving seat, and make use of all the resources at our disposal and much of it is technological.

I often try to ask friends during this lockdown: what did you learn during this period?

I’ve been astonished to learn that I have friends who have learned how to bake, how to do graphics design, how to write poems, how to produce music, how to sew clothes and make Handmade shoes, how to trade forex, how to write business proposals and other business documents, how to manipulate data using Office tools, how to take beautiful and thought stimulating pictures, edit them and monetize it etc.
A final question I have to our audience is:What more do you plan to learn?

You don’t have to answer, just carry on learning and searching for those business and Entrepreneurship opportunities that lie abound. We’ll try to scour the internet for learning opportunities and freelance/remote work opportunities to support our youth build an Entrepreneurship career trading their skills and What they can make for monetary benefits.

Ibrahim Sani Writes from JIGAWA TWITTER CONNECT @Jigawa_Connect

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