The ordeal of a Nigerian youth. Is internet scam the way forward? (PART 1)

I don’t know the best introductory way to begin this article but I feel my heart should be poured out with the tempo at which this issue bothers me. I finished my NYSC programme in the year 2011, shortly after the day of my passing out ceremony, I was chatting with an old friend of mine who happens to be an honest and decent young man. He asked me what I was up to and I shared with him the hard time I was facing in my job pursuits. To my surprise, He asked me a few questions that got me stunned.

It went thus:

“Do you have a laptop?”

I replied ”yes”

He asked again, ”Do you have an internet modem?” My response was the same. Then he said, “Why you dey dull yourself my guy? Press this thing jare!

In a clearer sense, he was advising me to venture into internet scam, I paused for a minute and did a quick assessment of his personality, and I realized how decent he had been during our days at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Osun state. What really changed his view of life? What happened to those admirable values he used to have? These are rhetorical questions that can only be answered by life itself. Truthfully, there is no moral justification for going against the laws of the state but this is a major societal problem faced by higher institution graduates in Nigeria.

According to the past governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Charles Soludo, the Nigerian higher institutions produce 2 million graduates in a year. These people are introduced to a labour market that has little or no capabilities of absorbing 30% of them. These young graduates embark on an outrageous massive job application spree out of desperation to get busy somewhere. I could remember vividly that during my time of active job search, after too much frustration of not getting a job interview invitation, I once applied for the post of a barman on Jobberman just to confirm if the site was operational, it’s been 4 years now and I am still hoping to get a response. Well maybe it could come after today lol. Now here is my point, after staying at home for a long while and exhausting the little amount you saved from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which had given you a feeling of financial independence from your parents or guidance, you realize the true picture of being a Nigerian youth. You realize the shame of asking your parents for transport fares or little funds for internet subscription on your phone to keep in touch with friends which is common among youths.

You start to find it difficult to keep your girlfriend close. Apology to all the ladies that will be reading this but we all know Nigerian ladies are always skeptical about dating poor guys. They call it the “second term of poverty”, the first term was probably in their “father’s houses”. To buttress my point, there is a quick way I use in knowing the financial capabilities of organizations during job interviews. If the company is well-paying, you will observe the class of ladies there, probably ladies with short skirt suits and crazy heels, light-skinned, they constantly speak through their nose in a bid to polish their spoken English to the standard of a United Kingdom returnee. On the contrary, if it’s a company where the workers are severely underpaid, you will probably see 2 ladies or one out of 10 to 12 men with one of the ladies on internship contract, constantly gnashing her teeth about her lost chances of working at a bank or oil company after learning about the fortunes of her friends. At a point I started suspecting some witches in my village, I am from Edo state, where witches are popularly known to ‘fly’during the day because they can’t even wait for the day to get dark hahaha! This is common belief in Nigeria, Later most people attributed my unemployed status to the fact that I am too open-minded, meaning I tell the world of my next plans even before I start them which is bad because life is a competition.

I am not that religious but to save my head I joined a praying church to seek spiritual help, this reminds me of the words of Karl Marx who termed “religion as the opium of the masses” He said religion will be regarded as the last hope of the people after the capitalists/ruling elites would have destroyed the state with their selfish interests. People will then begin to attribute their problems to spirituality and find succor there. I hate to see the validity of this statement for obvious reasons.

Furthermore, all your best clothes start to cry for a retirement plan after active service, trekking around for those who have the guts to go submit their CVs on their own to the companies directly despite not seeing any job vacancy notices, the effect starts to tell on the sole of their shoes. During this period, testimonies will start flowing in from your colleagues. This is my own experience, one day after a hot afternoon of sharing my CVs around like a souvenir, a friend called and it went thus:

Friend: ”Hello boss, how you dey now”

Me: ”I am fine boss, just chilling mehn” (trying to hide my frustration)

Friend: ”naso boss, see ehn, do you remember that slim girl called Tosin at our department now then”

Me: ”Slim girl? Tooooosin? Hmmmm? I am not too sure. Maybe when I see her pix”

Friend: “what a porous brain you have got, you want to tell me you can’t remember that Tosin that failed all her core courses and graduated with a third class”

Me: ”ooooh! guy nor vex, I think I surely do now. But what about her?”

Friend: ”my guy! She dey one oil company now dey earn over 200k per month. I don’t know how she did it”

Me: na lie! Jesus! Jesus!!

Friend: ”see I am sure she added something non-academic to the CV, u know as e dey go now”

Me: choi!

Friend: ”Guy nawa for you oh! U hardly call me at all. Get out jare, my credit is finished”

Me: ”eeeeh, I will call you back immediately”

Anyway that’s my usual lie but the fact is that I never always call back lol I may be willing to but when you check your account balance and see N34.21k, and your scale of preference for calling as we have it in Economics doesn’t favour your friend whose number on your priority list falls at the bottom, all you do is make promises you never fulfill like our politicians in Nigeria. Back to my initial point, news like this could also have a positive effect of curing that strong hunger and saving your mom of her food lol. Instantly, a competitive person loses appetite and sits down to engage in mostly hasty, fruitless thoughts. It’s only normal; there is nothing absurd about this if you are going through it. Nigeria gives you the real image of this world I must confess. It is a highly crowded but lonely place because as you grow up, you begin to realize that the hostel life in school of having multiple friends doesn’t cut it. You will need people to share your pains with and ease your burden. And then you will realize that naturally people don’t care because they also have their own problems to deal with. Some people deal with this unemployment issue with strong humility that I admire, they ignore the top standard of their qualifications and venture into menial jobs or maybe teaching jobs at a small primary or secondary school. They earn that little pay and hope for the best in the nearest future while some sit back at home constantly calling their uncles and church members for help. Truthfully I belonged to that category then and Mavin records D’prince’s new song, O.Y.O sums up my experience. Maybe you should go watch the video for a better understanding.

Thanks so much for reading thus far, watch this space same time tomorrow for the concluding part of this article. I assure you it will be worthwhile and enlightening. Your attention is highly honoured. It brings out the beauty of the article.
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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