By Yemisi Olawole
Despite tales of hardship experienced by fresh graduates after school, some selected who took their lives in their hands have stories of excelling in a harsh economic situation to share.
From many indications, Nigerian youths seem no longer interested in the government offering them jobs, or doing white-collar jobs as numbers of youths going around with their CVs haunting for jobs or going for interviews have dwindled considerably., They now create job for themselves by learning skills, engaging in online businesses, cryptocurrency, Binance, real estate, Tech, brand influencers and lots more. Some even boast of earning more than some government workers. The good thing about this is that some acquire these skills before they gain admission into tertiary institutions, they develop them while studying and use these means to cater for their needs in school and after leaving the school. Others learn skills while in school and develop it after school and today they’re doing great with their skills.
Sizable number of Nigerian youths today are now multimillionaires through the skills they acquired. The Nigeria Youth Service scheme also allows Nigerian educated Youth to learn skills while serving the country, and to make ends meet for themselves after their service year. This opportunity has helped many youths to be independent, and make ends meet on their own without hoping for a government job.
Adenekan Boluwatife, a fresh graduate of Federal University Oye-Ekiti declared that despite his four years of studying educational management, he still prefers to be an entrepreneur rather than a government worker.
He explained that he is into Clothing and also a graphic designer. He owns the Clothing brand Sire, and he said he earns N150,000 to N300,000 in weeks depending on how well the sales are.
He said “It is easy to create my design, how I want it, express my feelings in the clothes, and also it’s a business you can start up with a little amount and make profit from it to make a living”.
He further explained that he has been into the business since 2020. While he was in school, he was able to fend for himself. He works from home through the use of WhatsApp and other social media platforms to advertise his business, people make order online and he delivers to their residence, he said that he makes good money from the comfort of his home.
He boasted “I will choose this business over any government work, because I earn daily and I make cool money without much stress, I have time for myself and to attend to other things pertaining to my life unlike government work that someone needs to wait till the end of the month before receiving salary and sometimes the government even disappoints.”
Obisesan Ayodeji Temitope, another graduate of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, graduated in 2019. He studied English and Literary Studies, he said after he graduated and after his service year, he couldn’t get a decent job himself, with the fact that he graduated with a strong 2.1, he still couldn’t get himself a job, so he ventured into wig making, he learned the skill and now he has become a manager of a wig store in Lagos.
He said he earns close to 400,000 naira in a month apart from his salary because he makes wig and sells. He asked “How much do I make? Not specific, and it sometimes varies. I make minimum of 200, 000 naira monthly basically and sometimes 400, 000 naira. Depends on how much I work which I don’t have control over”.
He said, aside from the skill that is bringing him money, he’s also a freelance writer and he teaches students who are willing to become a writer how to write. He confessed that the skill has contributed a lot to his growth. “It has given me a steadfast understanding of how much value the money you make is paramount, compared to the ones given, hence, gave me a boost to wanting to make more, it has also given me a basic skill not only to acquire but to also tutor/ mentor some others who want to be a writer with zero platforms or lack of Journalism certificate.” He enthused.
Cryptocurrency is also a wide skill, a lot of educated Nigerian youths are now into it. It involves speculating on price movement via a CFD trading account or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange. Research has proven that 70% of educated Nigerian youths are into online trading, Forex trading is another online business that has to trade coins and as you trade you earn in dollars.
Oyinlola Victor Oluwabukunmi, explains that Forex is about Foreign exchange, he says “We’ve got the bulls and bears.
The bulls are the buyers and the bears are the sellers. Buying and selling currency, depends on certain conditions.
For example, we have two currencies, which we call currency pairs, which could have EurGPD meaning Euro and pounds”. He said he has been in the business for 2 years and has been making it in the business. He trades in dollars and earn in dollars.
He claims to earn at least $1000 per trade. He stated that he would choose the forex trading business over any government work any day because it’s reliable, even though it has its disadvantages but it’s still more reliable than government work.
Tech is another skill Nigerian youths engage in to make money. Guys and ladies that are into these skills are referred to as “tech bro” and “tech sis”. This is a knowledge and expertise required to perform specific tasks and use specific tools and programs in real-world situations. Some examples of technical skills are:- Data analysis, web development, computer programming languages, Financial management, bookkeeping, UX design, Graphics design, and Writing
Adetunji Damilola Adenike, a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, who studied Office Technology and Management now a Data Analyst said she learned the skill after she graduated in 2019 and she has been doing well for herself. She said learning and practicing the skill has paved the way for many opportunities, she can work with any technology organization. She says “I got my current job because I’m tech-savvy, I can work anywhere, outside the course I studied in school”.
Some Nigerian graduates are now employers. Skills acquisition has paved the way for many, even some government workers now do aside business, after returning from their office work, they go to their second business, some sell while some render services to people.
Numerous skills and businesses that Nigerian youths are now into fetch them good money enough to take care of themselves and their family, these ideas and innovation from youths has reduced the government’s stress of creating more job opportunities for the youths.
However, one of the ways government can come in to help the youth dreams to be more realistic is to create empowerment programs so as to create more awareness about skills acquisitions and also help the youths with loans and funds to make it easier for them to achieve their individual goal.
Olawole is a Corps Member serving with The Hope