We Are Actually Unemployable!

by Mohammed Haruna

Some questions I placed on whatsApp social network that houses my class mates

in the department of mass communication, Bayero University Kano, coupled with

my observation and general assumption about students in Nigerian universities

prompted this write up. As far as I know, there are series of write ups and

scholarly interpretations from different walks of life on why Nigerian graduates

are unemployable. That is not my concern here. My concern in this write up is self

reflection, self questioning and self examination on whether we are actually


This self questioning, self examination and self reflection do not exempt the

writer of this piece. I am also unemployable for now. This is glaringly evident

even from the grammatical inconsistencies, incoherent and illogical presentation

of facts in this write up.

But let me begin by reflecting on the questions I placed on whatsApp social

network where my mates interact online. I asked; “one of the most difficult

aspect in reporting today is reporting minors. A 12 months old baby was raped by

her own father. And as a reporter, you were given access to all details about the

story. Will you report the story? Why would you report the story? Will you

mention the name of the family, the victim and the community where the assault

took place? How would you report the story without causing adverse rejection for

the family, the victim and the community where the assault took place?

Up till today as I write this piece, about two weeks since I placed the questions, no

one responded.

The following day, I placed another question that generated huge responses

within a couple of minutes. Guess what? The question was, “how will I know that

a girl loves me sincerely?

I had to off my data bundle to stop the messages from flowing into my inbox. It

seems everyone is an “expert” in that regard. This is just a single issue out of


A common thought of a university student in Nigeria is to graduate and get a job;

own a car, house and marry a beautiful wife to keep at home. Of course yours

sincerely is also not far away from that. But the question is, how prepared are we

for any meaningful employment? No employer will engage someone who has

nothing to offer.

Judging by the foregoing, of course we don’t have anything to offer if we cannot

answer simple questions from a field we claim ours. In fact the issue is not even

whether we can answer questions or address serious academic discourse or not,

the issue is that we reject knowledge and make it our enemy.

We are bunch of inept, incompetent and unequivocal illiterates who are not ready

to learn and imbibe the spirit of knowledge. Anything we say, do or disseminate is

nothing but crass ignorance which is a bye product of poverty of knowledge. I

once told my project supervisor to be patient with my trouble because I am

suffering from poverty of knowledge.

I still insist that we are unemployable. In my capacity for example, I have served

as an Editor-in-Chief several times editing our in-house publications, mostly

assignments. I always have to be very careful and screen thoroughly any write up

or news reports dropped on my table. The reason is very clear. Most of the write

ups are plagiarized. I once queried. “How can you copy someone’s write up and

claim it is yours?

Whenever assignments are given in class, some of our lecturers have to be

patient not to condemn out rightly most contents in the assignments. You could

glaringly see clear theft in most of the contents. I wonder who will employ a thief.

Simply attribution and acknowledgement of sources is lacking in most of our


I don’t want the reader of this article to look at the other side of the coin; I am

still on self reflection. Students in Nigerian universities are not painstakingly built

on scholarship, including myself. We don’t critique most of our academic work

because we lack the moral rectitude and the academic grounding to do so.

Cramming notes to pass exams is mostly our priority. The common and widely

believe is that certificate remains the alpha and omega.

Students are no longer interested in acquiring knowledge. Any serious student

who often ask questions in class or raises serious academic discourse in class is

rejected and condemned among their colleagues. They are call all sort of names.

Some call them “I too know”. I wonder whether there is any English lexicon that

accommodates such expression.

I am still bewildered as to why students don’t seem to appreciate knowledge and

imbibe the culture of learning. We prefer to spend several hours chatting with

friends on social networks. I am more astonished any time I looked at the content

of what we discuss online. Mere bullshit! Complete nonsense, rooted from

myopic, ill fated and ill informed minds who neither understand they are

illiterates nor are they ready to make some self reflection for their good.

In another development, the system itself promotes rascality, ineptitude, and

inefficiency thereby killing its best. This is evident from the lack of encouragement

for competence and efficiency in the system. Rigorous academic discourses are

demoralized. Copy and paste is the order of the day, coupled with debilitating and

unprogressive curriculum in the university setting. Anyway! I don’t want to dwell

on that, still on self reflection.

The glooming poverty of knowledge that manifest on our faces is not far from

being sighted. Mass communication for example is a practical course that requires

skills and experience obtainable on practical terms. Professor Umaru Pate once

said “the broadcasting industry is such a place where hiding one’s intellectual

laziness may be very difficult”. The question is, how many students are ready and

willing to expose themselves to academic rigors in learning the basic of journalism

practice? Even if the facilities are available for them to do that, they don’t seem

to have interest. For example, in Bayero university kano, we have campus based

radio station meant for students to learn the basics of journalistic practice. But

few students appeared to be doing that.

Another reason why I came to a conclusion that we are unemployable is our lack

of independent research capabilities. Most of our final year projects are copy and

paste. If students cannot write and interpret assignments based on their

understanding, you will wonder how they can confront a project that is more

complex and that requires one to critically think with the ability to read and digest


Most of us who cannot be independent minded are seen roaming from one office

to another to lobby some lecturers, all in an attempt to gain favors. It is cloudy to

understand how such caliber of students will make any impact when offered a job

after graduation.

Students these days prefer to celebrate birthdates, watch football matches and all

sort of social activities at the detriment of their academic studies and discourses.

Debates that can foster good learning are no longer given much attention.

Students prefer to promote hate speeches, ethnic chauvinism, epileptic nepotism

and an entrenched culture of tittle-tattle and an unimaginable bunkum. Our IQ no

longer works. We claim to be modernized and technologically advanced, but vast

in ignorance, ill will, inefficient, ineptitude and lack of competence and

confidence to deliver.

This is indeed demeaning, annoying and self destroying. We are indeed

unemployable when we don’t have any input to make; when we don’t have the

competence and confidence to solve social problems, when all we can present are

mere certificates obtain sometimes from dubious ways such as lobbying and

cheating during exams.

I hope we will ponder and change for the better.