By Egbe Attah
A Businessman in Otukpo, Benue State, Mr. John Otsepa has advised youths in the state, not to wait for government jobs but, rather create jobs for themselves.
Otsepa, who made the call in Otukpo last Tuesday while interacting with The Voice in an interview, noted that the era of white-collar jobs was gone, stressing that the population of Nigeria has outgrown the available job vacancies.
“I’ll advise my fellow brothers and sisters in Benue, particularly those in Benue South, to create jobs for themselves instead of waiting for government jobs that are not available.
“You must take note that the population of the nation is growing rapidly and has outstripped the available white-collar jobs.
“If you think that with the large population and the number of graduates on the streets, the government will provide jobs for all of us, you are deceiving yourself. You’ll wait until eternity. The only thing I ‘ll advocate for, is that the government should provide enabling environment for business to thrive.”
Otsepa, who is a timber dealer at the Otukpo Timber Shed stated that he started business as loader and off- loader of wood before metamorphosing into seller of timbers. He believes that that anyone who wants to make it in life must start small as he did, pointing out that, “Rome was not built in a day.”
He further asked youths not to be ashamed of odd jobs engaged in to make ends meet and implored them to use such opportunities to elevate themselves in the society while warning them to steer clear of crimes, saying, “there are no shortcut to success.”
According to the High National Diploma (HND) graduate of Crop Production from the Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev, now Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, ” After my college, I came to Otukpo Timber Shed as a tout, loading and off-loading timbers.
“I used the proceeds from my engagement to take care of myself and also sponsored my tertiary education.
He maintained that he searched for white -collar jobs after his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) but found none. “I therefore, decided to come back to Otukpo Wood Depot where I started life as a hustler and I used the meagre resources I saved during my NYSC scheme to start trading in wood”, he revealed.
Otsepa, who acknowledged that the timber business is a lucrative one, however, cautioned that indiscriminate felling of trees has adverse effects on the ecosystem, stressing that every tree felled ought to be replaced with a new one.
He appreciated the state governor, Rev F Dr Hyacinth Alia for his effort in uplifting Benue Youths through his youth empowerment programme,”Alia Cares” and urged the youths to enroll in the ongoing registration in order to be empowered.