Calabar Manchester United Tragedy: ‘We tried stopping our husbands from going to view centre’ - As Nigerians continue to mourn the shocking demise of football fans who were electrocuted at a football match viewing centre at Nyaghassang Community, Cal...
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thousands have decided to give up on their career dream to earn low income jobs like hotel workers, bus driver or start-up their own business. See picture above.
“We didn’t even care about politics ... We just wanted more options. Now, it’s all over.”
Most young and unemployed Nigerians who recently graduated university are told that they are too old for the work available. 25 seems to be the cut-off mark. Graduates with first degree and those with first class are inclusive. But there was once a time when young Nigerians had hope for something better. A time when they felt like anything was possible, and everyone in the streets knew what they stood for. Finish university and get your dream job. That era is outdated and the new candidates and incumbent government is not helping at all.
“The government fooled us,” replied 27 year old Chinedu who graduated first class from Lagos State University told osaseye.
“We’re still poor, even more poor, and there are no opportunities.”
“If I was able to get a degree and then a proper engineering job, things would at least be manageable,” says Osasu, a 31-year-old Nigerian from Edo State.
“With education but without a job ... our lives are stalled like a car.”
Earlier this year, as part of a reporting fellowship on youth unemployment hosted by The GroundTruth Project, colleague Chika Oduah and I focused on the country’s similarly disenfranchised youth.
Most Nigerians we spoke with said this chronic lack of opportunities, amid a culture of government corruption and growing economic disparity, looms larger in their day-to-day lives than the perils of the Boko Haram insurgency.
For many, Nigeria’s staggering unemployment rate and inescapable cycle of poverty has meant a life of crime and violence. For others like 24-year-old entrepreneur Tayo Olufuwa, necessity is the mother of invention, and entrepreneurs are working to fill in the gaping holes the state has long ignored.
“I just realized I could do something with my life,” Olufuwa said. “I could create solutions.”
In the coming weeks, GroundTruth will publish more of our work on young Nigerians like Olufuwa who have lost faith in in the Nigerian government, and have often taken matters into their own hands.