Labour Debates Jobs as Global Lockdown Lingers

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Rhoda Nomhwange   

The most common fear that we experience which often sabotage all hopes for success are failure, poverty and loss of money. These fears cause people to avoid fears of any kind and to reject opportunity when it is presented to them. But again, there are people who dare risk against all odds. The fear of what will happen or become leads to choices of employment been it white collar or self-employment.

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The Covid-19 crisis which has taken the globe by storm is forcing people rethink their choices. One group insists that working for government is the best thing that will happen to a citizen. To others, entrepreneurship is the best when the right modalities are put in place. Meanwhile, the business of the day is how businesses (private and public) can move on after the ravaging pandemic is stopped.

Anastasia Akaabo, lecturer at College of Education Oju told The Transmitter that she prefers a white-collar job, because she has no knowledge of business. She said business is for those who see the bigger picture; they start small and grow unlike white-collar jobs.

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Dr.Victor Orih, a medical doctor with General Hospital Aliade also said he prefers a white-collar job not because he is in it, but for pension entitlements. Other benefits according to Dr. Orih include insurance cover for all risk, when a person retires from service, They receive payment monthly or quarterly as preferred by the person.

Mimi Timothy, a Bead Maker has a contrary opinion. She loves business better than white-collar job. In her explanation, a business person has a higher income compare to the person working for government or corporate. Furthermore, Mimi said she works at her own pace and is happy being her own boss, with employees and no fear of retrenchment.

A Computer Scientist, James kuma Idah said he loves business; self employment which is what he does presently. He explained that a business has no age limit, unlike the white collar job where one is retired even when he/she is not tired.

A Bank Manager in Makurdi who prefers not to be mentioned says he needed a white collar job to save up and start his own bank as well as establish other business which he needed the knowledge and technical know-how.

The reality of the Nigerian labour market is that there are limited employment opportunities for graduates. This is the case, despite relatively robust economic growth over time. The tertiary education system does not equip graduates with the skills required for self-employment or entrepreneurship as an alternative to reliance on white collar jobs. Creating awareness for successful business requires an awareness of one’s knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, values and preferences. With the Covid-19, there are fears that more white-collar jobs may be lost and people forced to the labour market to begin a new life. For those in businesses, it might take time, but there is room for recovery as time progresses.

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