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Business: Civil Service jobs may soon become poverty alleviation programme

By Udeme Akpabio

Before the importation of Civil Service into the African Continent by the instrumentality of colonialism, and/or democracy, and/or quest for the so-called civilisation, Africa had what it takes to be self-dependent. The dependency was informed by the use of natural sources of income that conveniently sustained the peculiar people of the Almighty – Africans.

Over a period of time, the Continent by way of yielding to Western introduction, started letting go of the first job of Mankind, Agriculture, which is Biblically believed to have been started by Adam in the Garden of Eden. Africans began to see “white collar job” as the most desired and fancied thing to do, which must sap between 16 and 20 years of classroom experience before achieving it (if at all it happens in most cases, today).

Away from that, Africa on acceptance of “Western gifts” of education, technology, and the like (which are nice, anyway), needs to understand that Civil Service is war in sheep’s clothing. The service is good, but it’s a better explanation of the so-popularised “brain drain”. What can actually tame the present inflation rate in Africa is BUSINESS, especially in Agriculture (which was initially Africa’s mainstay) and information/communication technology-ICT (borrowed).

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As years roll by, the number of workers needed in the private sector (Banks especially), and Government-linked establishments are reducing by necessity. In Banks for example, what ten people were doing before, is gradually being done by one or two persons, by the use of technology. Question now is, what is the hope of those whose 16-20 years went wild in classrooms? This is where Civil Service in no time may be a platform to alleviate poverty as many will surely lose their jobs and/or find no job in the service, out of the present continental plague – Inflation!

One may be tempted to ask, what then is the way forward? Answer to that question is simple – Investments in Agriculture, ICT, and general business would suffice.

When Otuekong Engr Ben Akak, CEO of Bengies Group of Companies had a dream of selling his entire life to business even whilst in School, a handful of his mates saw him as a joker; one who was blind to “juicy white collar jobs”. But today, the realisation of his dream has proven a major continental point. Ben Akak started the kind of business that his peers at the time, found to be a shameful thing to do for a graduate. What they can’t explain today is how Akak’s “shameful business” has grown into a chain of businesses. Little wonder Ben Akak is always in a haste to encourage one who has an interest in doing business, whether in Agriculture or general business.

Therefore, there is a need for Africans, nay, Nigerians to look to the way of doing business, and/or invest in Information and Communication Technology. This is not to disdain any opportunity to oblige Civil Service jobs but to understand that Civil Service should be complimentary to businesses in Agriculture and ICT.

Prince Udeme Akpabio, JP, can be reached via udemeakpabio14@gmail.com and 08135905617.

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