A female graduate of university of Calabar narrates how the economic situation of the country have hindered her from securing a ‘White – Collar Job” over the years leaving her to switch to her plan B which is riding commercial tricycle.
In an exclusive interview with ECHONEWS, Mrs. Gloria Onyemechi Daniels narrated how life as an unemployed university graduate had been and how she had been able “Squeeze out some Lemonade from the Lime of Life”.
Giving account of what led her to the man dominated business, she said unemployment and the battle for survival led her into her plan B which is commercial use of “Keke Meruwa” as it is fondly called, to support herself.
“There is no job anywhere. We have more people looking for jobs that are not available. A lot of companies have closed down, every day you go out and seek for employment, what you get is, wait for our reply, come back tomorrow, so instead of sitting down doing nothing, I decided to ride the tricycle” she said.
The 2001 UNICAL graduate, enumerate some professional roadblocks she had encountered over the years, as a female tricycle rider. Ranging from the passengers who mostly prefer a male operator to them, the females.
“The job has been okay, our biggest challenge are the passengers, who mostly neglect female tricycle riders and patronize the men. There is also the issue of opposing male operators, who don’t believe in gender equality. At times, when it’s not their turn to load at the park, they insist on loading before them; insisting no woman will load before them”.
Talking about the ill attitude some passengers display at times while on board, she said it has been very annoying. “There is the issue of transport fare, change and complains on speed. Some come with attitude, but we have also learned to fight for ourselves” she said.
Mrs. Gloria, highlighted things she would change, if per adventure she become the Head of Union Operators. “What I will like to change is the money they charge us [the ticket money], here they collect a thousand naira and over there at the other park, they also charge N1,000. It’s not the same in other Local Government Area. I will like to beat the charge down, first before any other thing” she said emphatically.
With the down turn of the economy, she explained, how the dwindling economy has affected the once lucrative Maruwa Transportation Business. Noting that this has made a whole lot of her colleagues and herself, work around the clock, to meet up with their daily target.
“The present economic situation has affected this business because before there are some days I’ve worked and get #9,000, #10,000 on my Route. But now, before I can say I’m working and I’m taking like #6,000 home I need to work till 7pm but before it wasn’t so” she recalled.
As a hard worker, she said, she has been able to care for her children to adulthood and now she is a grandmother. She said the business can be stressful and time consuming, but it has its own benefit and it’s an honorable way of living.
She urges youths to value education as it is the best legacy and acquire vocational knowledge, as an alternative measure, when things don’t happen, as they plan with their career. “it’s good, to be educated but aside of being educated, I believe in vocational knowledge because when your certificate fails you, your vocation will never fail you”. You need to have a plan B, going to school is plan A and your vocation should be your plan B” she concluded.