Dear Diary: State of Affairs

Dear Diary,

This is no poetry neither is it political, but a personal note, a soliloquy and thoughts that bother me.

I perceive corruption every day and it seems people are too timid to stand against it. Most are afraid of something. And I’m aware of this something. Maybe I’m a little afraid too, but I’m uncomfortable with it. I’m just worried for my beloved country.

Believe me when I say that the best jobs are reserved for the best. Whose best? The elite and their children of course, and their generations unborn! Someone may have the skills and education but may not secure a befitting job. For those who have the audacity to think out of the box, the environment and system suppress them with no support, no capital, no hope, with nothing. What will those diploma and degrees become, a decoration for the room? Why waste so much time in acquiring an education that may not be relevant to future personal growth? Should focus be on how to use education to find or create jobs or to remain in the status quo of learning to read and write and discover theoretically what biology and finance means?

It’s funny at times that this country has much mineral, human and arable resources but show little progress. A particular African country can boast of much oil wealth but rank as one of the poorest countries in the world; with high infant mortality rates, unemployment levels and poverty rates. There’s much poverty and suffering in the midst of wealth. To be honest, governments are incompetent and can’t manage these resources efficiently. The bottom line is that corruption has laid hands on public wealth and it will be a Herculean task to cut those hands off!

Youth empowerment is the order of the day. Governments, administrators and their representatives design all sorts of youth empowerment schemes. Somewhere below the Lower Niger a leader even donated wheelbarrows as empowerment tools for the youth and some people celebrated him. Wheelbarrow to graduates, what for? Okay let’s assume some youth may find a way to make good use of these but on which good roads will they ply on? I can’t imagine.

Public property is in disarray. Roads are death trap! Electricity is in shambles and I’ve to wait for days to use them, public water facilities are not functional. Health systems is bad. Educational institutions and agencies run on outdated curriculums and practices. Salaries and pensions for public workers owed for up to 2 years but levies and tax collection enforced as defaulters are quickly arrested and prosecuted. Justice is unjustified. Wait, can you imagine that when a government official pays salaries that people praise them? Why are they the government at the first instance? Who put them there? Why should we be grateful when they do a fraction of their jobs?

A friend said that the son of the poor will only know when the Army, Navy and other Armed Forces are recruiting but won’t know when Central Banks, Development Banks and other important Government agencies are recruiting. Very true! Recruitment is shabbily done. A job for 10 people is advertised, 20000 applies for it. Then the selection committee selects their own. Unemployment continues to be the song of the day. Worse, applicants go through rigorous processes and may have suffered so much stress and financial losses. At the end they likely will not get the job! Most recruitment drives are for formality sake.

Now on a serious note, why would some public and private firms set a recruitment age for youth especially in the finance sector? They say you mustn’t be above 27 years of age at time of application. I know age limits are set to reduce the number of applicants. But I strongly think that this is discrimination. Let everyone play on a level ground. Companies should choose the best from their applicant pool even as they encourage younger people to apply. Why is it common to see engineering, medical, environmental, political, languages graduates working in financial institutions when finance, accounting, management graduates walk the streets in search of jobs? How do Africa grow when things are continually done upside down?

Sometimes I’m confused, other times I’m angry. I hope these trends don’t linger longer. I also hope that before anyone decides to take this post personal, that such person understand that any resemblances of situations, persons, places and events mentioned here may be accidental and not intentional.

Peace.

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