• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Rip-off: Workers may soon begin to pay employers to retain job

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It is said that nothing appears normal again in Nigeria; as the late Chinua Achebe would say, the centre can longer hold. Days were when the Nigerian spirit of brotherhood was alive, when those who had, shared with those that had not. Today, it is the other way round. Today, the haves are struggling to even remove from the mouth of the have nots, the last morsel of food.

In a country where the rate of unemployment has hit the roof, employers of labour place impossible conditions for the few available jobs.

The unemployment situation has caused a serious distortion in the psyche of many Nigerians. Many no longer think rationally or reasonably. It is a matter of the end justifying the means. As it is said, “no brother in the jungle”.

What we have today are predators masquerading as employers. In the name of offering jobs, they dupe the unsuspecting citizens and leave behind a trail of blood and tears.

Poverty begets desperation

Time was in the history of Israel when poverty was at its peak as a result of famine, so intense that people began to eat their own children to stay alive. Following from the above, there was a divine rain of food in the city of Samaria, it was unbelievable that in the stampede that attended the rush for the fine flour and barley that were given out cheaply, the chief security officer lost his life. He was trampled upon by hungry and desperate citizens.

The only difference between the anecdote and what happened on Saturday, March 15, was that rather than killing the ministry and NIS officials, the scrambling job-seekers killed themselves instead. And those who survived it did not get the fine flour and barley after all.

Is there hunger in Nigeria as was in Samaria at that time? Yes. Are people eating their own children as a result of hunger? Too many. Today, the nation’s dailies are filled with stories of fathers staging the kidnap of their children and wives for money-making purposes. Some use their children for ritual purposes for money. Stories abound of mothers selling off their babies at the birth stool for fear of not being able to cater for such babies owing to economic reasons.

Many years ago such things were alien to the Nigerian culture, but nowadays, they have become part of the Nigerian society. Nothing is impossible in today’s Nigeria.

Kidnapping, ritual killing offshoot of unemployment

In today’s Nigeria, many families had sent their children to school with the hope of being taken care of after such children’s graduation. But years after those children left school, they have continued to constitute a huge nuisance for their parents because they have nothing doing in terms of employment. Hopes and dreams are shattered. These were among the categories of those that went for the NIS recruitment exercise that ended in blood.

Some youths who have not got the moral fibre and are impatient enlist in some untoward activities to eke out a living. For this reason the ranks of terrorists, armed robbers, kidnappers, and prostitutes are swelling by the day.

When normalcy ruled…

Many years ago, organisations that needed to recruit workers simply advertised or went to institutions of higher learning to target those about to round off their programmes. Interviews were conducted in simple and humane manner, in atmosphere of mutual respect. The dignity of the job seeker was not trampled upon in the process. Those who were being considered for hiring were in most cases treated to sumptuous meals. Those invited from the cities where the interviews held were catered for as accommodation, feeding arrangements were adequately made in addition to refund of their transport fares and return tickets for those that flew. That is history now.

Today, organisations impose all manner of fees on applicants and fleece the hapless jobless seekers for jobs they are not sure of getting at the end of the day. Organisations also even charge money for inconveniences they encounter in processing applicants’ applications, a development, pundits say is not only immoral, but unprofessional.

Applicants from states where the interviews are held now cater for their transportation, feeding, accommodation and other logistics. What the organisations are looking for are the human elements not how they make it to the interview venues or the applicants’ comfort.

Things may further grow worse

Analysts are saying that with the way things are going, a time may come when workers recruited in that manner would be required to be paying the organisations they are working for and not the other way round, if they hope to retain their jobs.

Zebulon Agomuo