My advice to our youth, by Dr Tijjani Salihu Shinkafi, PhD

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Some people easily get impressed upon hearing about someone's achievements without minding to know how they got there. In life you must struggle enough to be independent. When I was in secondary school I did some kind of job mostly during holidays and weekends. I also taught in private school when I completed the first degree before I was posted for NYSC and similarly while I was in India I worked with a company at Noida during both my MSc and some part of my PhD periods. In fact, I used the money (salary) I earned to buy tickets for myself, wife and my only daughter at that time. You see we need not to be too lazy. There are a lot of things one can do during the weekends and holidays to support himself. Even the daughters of Obama when he was the President of America was going to work while they reside in the white house. Today, during an official assignment (Students Industrial Training Experience Scheme) I met a young boy (a 200 level Biochemistry student of our department) at Aku village, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State. After the formal interaction I asked him this question 'what influenced you to leave so many places in the northwest to come to this place for your industrial attachment? The boy said "Sir, after closing from work and weekends I go to one shop to get some clothes that I carry and go round the village to sell and the profit is mine". He added, "I do generate at times 15000 Nigerian naira in a week". He also told me"it is through this I pay my university registration fees every year". He added "I have brothers that are rich but I don't depend on them for my registration fees and other things". Thereafter, a lot of things kept on coming to my mind, why is it many young people are lazy to do things like this? Many of these lazy boys are waiting for their poor parents, uncles or brothers to pay for their registration fees. I think it is our society that is making them lazy. We always try to pay for our relatives registration fees. Instead, show them a small job for them to do to take care of minor things they want to do for themselves. Though I was awarded scholarship for both MSc and PhD degrees but I struggled for it. However, I paid for my first degree registration fees from year 1 to 4. I go to farm to work even after my PhD degree my friends can attest this. Gentleman or lady you must forget about your degree certificate and look for something to do before you get a job, be humble. There are so many things you can do even at home to earn some money. Many are having PhD degree certificates without job. Our youth should strive hard to become financially independent. If you finished your degree program and you can't find a job please go and do some business or learn how to do something that will keep you busy and give you some income for your basic needs. My advice to our youth. Dr Tijjani Salihu Shinkafi, PhD

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