On March 19, 2014, the then opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, criticised the unemployment situation under then President Jonathan and accused him of not doing anything concrete to help Nigerian youths get employed.
The APC in a statement said the Jonathan administration ‘has no social security or any form of safety net for the vulnerable army of the unemployed.’
This was despite the fact that that administration had set up the Youth With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN) scheme to assist Nigerian youths who had good business ideas with training and funding so they could start a business instead of depending on either government or the private sector for a job.
Around Nigeria, approximately 4,000 Nigerian youths got business training from the Lagos Business School and received grants of between 2 million and 10 million Naira (at that time worth between $12,000 to $50,000) to start their own businesses.
This is aside the 41,000 graduates who benefited from the Graduate Internship Scheme of that administration which placed Nigerian graduates with employers who could not afford to pay them so the youths could get experience while the government paid them.
The Jonathan administration also set up two ICT Incubation Centers, one in Lagos and the other in Calabar to enhance and grow the ideas and innovations of Nigerian youths into viable globally recognized businesses.
It is worthy of note that when Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria, the first place he chose to visit was the Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB) a brainchild of the Jonathan administration.
So, having criticized a government that did so much to spur youth innovation and employment, one would have thought that the APC would do better than the previous Peoples Democratic Party government of President Goodluck Jonathan.
So, you can then imagine my shock when it was revealed that the APC government planned to recruit Nigerian university graduates as bus conductors! Really? Bus conductors? And these are the people that tore the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to shreds with criticism? How sad! I have one question for the APC. If graduates are to be conductors, then who will drive the buses? PhD and Masters holders?
But it is really ridiculous!
President Goodluck Jonathan gave graduates between ₦2m to ₦12 million each to start businesses and the APC ridiculed him and called him clueless. Today, the clue-full APC is giving graduates ₦50k to be conductors. Jonathan saw youths as businessmen which is why he empowered them to start businesses, but today the APC see youths as conductors. All I can say is welcome to the new Nigeria!
But on second thoughts, it all makes perfect sense when you think about it.
I now understand why the APC is turning our graduates to conductors.
APC promised change and suddenly realized that it is conductors who collect change! So while the children of APC big wigs get plum jobs and juicy contracts, your children are ‘blessed’ with the opportunity to collect change! As far as they are concerned, the APC has fulfilled their campaign promises!
Someone told me that the APC has not created jobs and has even lost the jobs created by the Jonathan government and cited the report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics which revealed that 4.58 million Nigerians have lost their jobs under President Buhari.
However, I disagreed with that person and said the APC has created jobs.
When the person asked me what jobs my response was as follows – Examples of jobs APC has created for graduates: (a) Bus Conductors (b) Masquerade Dressers (c) Speech Plagiarizers and (d) which is specially for women; It is called Special Assistant on ‘Other Room’ and Kitchen Duties! It is so sad that in less than two years we have gone from Graduate Internship Scheme to Graduate Bus Conductor Scheme.
Alas, alas! Omokri is the founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Center in California, author of Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God and Why Jesus Wept and the host of Transformation with Reno Omokri