By Abdulmumini Lawal
The fate of university students in Nigeria undergoes various hiccups and calamities. Among these are the frequent industrial actions by different Academic Unions and Non-Academic Unions, the probability of hike increment in school fees, uncertainty in life itself whether one will even graduate or not, constant mutable thinking on what tomorrow might bring, and overall, the competitive race awaiting there in the labour market – life after graduation. Economic hardship is another phase of constraint students undergo towards pursuing their academic careers.
However, those above and other threats in academic space have been the main predicaments for Nigerian students and have to serve as a deterrent to one and evolve his perspective approach of who thinks the only way he can excel in life is by obtaining a degree and/or eventually securing a job (white collar one as many say). The limitation of thinking faculty in university students is expected to differ from layman’s, so he has to admit as such.
To my brothers and sisters, preferably those from low-income family backgrounds, I call upon your attention to erase the sense of thinking about when and why you will meet your desired expectations by the government in academia. You have many alternatives to make your life different; the agricultural sector is one of thousands.
Initially, citing examples from my humble self and being a farmer for ten consecutive years, I decided to embark on farming activities last year. This was a result of the incessant ASUU strike. I vowed to utilise the time I had then positively. During the year, I realised I knew little or nothing among the bounties of opportunities therein. Meanwhile, my ten years of experience in the field is limited. It doesn’t widen the scope of the lucrative opportunities in the farming investment. I strived a lot, putting in the effort I could, most notably money and time, to achieve it.
Alas! So many blessings will never meet you openly but will surely reach you in disguise. To me, the ASUU strike was a blessing in disguise for every university student since this was coming purposely to divert from being affected by the trauma of the ASUU strike.
Subsequently, the outcome was favourable. To sum it up, despite the fertiliser price hike, when I calculated the profit, it multiplied the capital I invested by 4 – 5 times. That’s to say, the profit reached 400 – 500%. I accomplished my dream. I have learnt a lot. There are numerous opportunities there. Many have become what they are today not by the certs they obtained, but by those skills many university students understand.
Moreover, today’s life is becoming more challenging every day. Today can’t be yesterday, just like tomorrow can’t be today. We see new changes every day, everywhere. It is supposed to be the turn of our parents and guardians to reap from what they have been investing in. Where does our thinking go? Okay, we think they will reap after we graduate and get employed. The uncertainty of securing a job after graduation is a constant gesture. The number of unemployed graduates keeps increasing. Universities keep producing. The white collar jobs are no longer to be found.
Meanwhile, the incessant government’s negligence in line with education concerns many other threats that have nothing to do with your failure and could never be the reason behind your excellence. Whatever Allah decides for you is a blessing in disguise. It’s either you misuse it or unknowingly leave it untouched.
Let’s wake up! Thousands of opportunities are there waiting for us. Let the cert be the second priority. Strive fervently day and night. For the little chance you have, make use of it appropriately.
I wish you a better tomorrow in all your endeavours!
Abdulmumini Lawal is a student of Mass Communication at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.