The picture right above you, culled from 234next.com, is a snap shot of the over 60,000 applicants who came to write an aptitude conducted by the NDLEA in Lagos(the test is also conducted nation wide). By the way, each applicant was charged a N1,500 application fee bringing in a cool N90m for the NDLEA.
Seeing this, there is a natural tendency to scoff at the agency for the manner in which the tests where conducted and the daylight robbery that was the application fee. But my worry really is the apparent lack of jobs which this picture actually depicts in a most vivid way. Lately, I’ve heard guys complain about their jobs and their desire to be their own boss. From Bankers to Oil company employees, to Government workers and even to Youth Corp Members everyone wants to leave for either “better job” or have their own company. The question however is if we all leave our jobs, who’s going to fill the obvious vacancies and in reverse who will employ them? Who will even give them business if they are to be on their own?
The reality is that the economy is in a worse shape than we can ever imagine and guess what? The jobs just ain’t there and entrepreneurship is hell!!! Ask guys who are already into private business? They will tell you how expensive it is to start a business, the lack of credit from banks, huge debtors you have to deal with on a monthly basis, thugs from the state and local governments who charge you all kinds of multiple taxes to name a few. They will also tell you very few people are hiring. The biggest employers of labour for years now, Banks, have shed over 20,000 jobs in recent times. So please, where are the openings?
This is by no means an attempt to discourage anyone who desires to be an entrepreneur or looking for a better job. Some of us really have to break away from the urge to “be on my own” and make conscious efforts towards understanding the dynamics of the world out there. Business in Nigeria is terribly difficult as we all know. In fact the “Doing Business Report” for 2010 ranks Nigeria 125 out of 183 driving home the very difficult terrain we are actually in. Everyone wants to be an oil magnate, a Real Estate Agent, A Consultant, A Supplier/ Contractor etc without even understanding what the pros and cons of the business are.
Even some who move jobs for better ones have often regret it as the job satisfaction is not there and in some cases end up loosing the job itself on what they atimes call LIFO (Last In First Out) basis. Some who have come back to home from overseas to work have mostly gone back as well as their employers often find out cost benefit is not just there. One of the reasons for the need to get a new job may not be far from the need to adjust to new style of living partly due to huge salary cuts in most industries. So its pretty obvious people find it difficult to belt up and live by their means making them want to look for better or other other source of income. This is fine in a bullish economy but not in the type that we find ourself in.
My advise is in this business climate, hold on to what you got no matter what the pay is like provided the job satisfaction is there. Live by your means and learn to save no matter how small. Cash is King.