My name is Kesiena Joy Olaitan, a graduate of Chemical Engineering from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso. I am a beneficiary of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P) attached to Zenith Medical Centre Lagos state.
When the Federal Government promised last year to encourage wealth creation and mitigate the spate of youth unemployment in the country through the reinvestment of the petroleum subsidy funds, little did I know that I was going to be a beneficiary.
Every parent and the society at large look up to the day their wards would graduate from the university and start working in order to support the family financially. But mine was the opposite, rather than graduating and securing a job to be able to assist the family financially, I became a financial burden to my parents. In order not to contribute to my parents’ financial burden, I was advised by relatives to go and marry which I oblige them and got married. Was that the solution to my unemployment? No it wasn't, though it was a relief to my parents because I was no longer their responsibility. Rather, I became a financial liability to my husband whose meager salary as a teacher could hardly put a two square meal on our table. I remember vividly the pain and agony I saw in my husband eyes the day I came back from a job hunt and told him the job hunt wasn't successful. Within the years of my unemployment, I suffered hunger, shame, and intimidation from friends and relatives because the Nigerian mentality is to identify with people who are successful while poverty is an orphan.
Knowing that I am unique and that no one has my combination of temperaments, with the same sets of values, the same potentials, the same abilities even though we read the same set of books in the university, I became more determined to continue my search for a job and I got the opportunity through SURE-P.
On the 16th October 2012, to be precise, while I was browsing on the internet searching for job opportunities, I came across the SURE-P website and decided to apply for an opportunity as an intern on the scheme having searched for job for the past five years after my National Youth Service (NYSC) without success. I applied with mixed feelings because I thought the selection process would be based on connections i.e. knowing someone in Federal Ministry of Finance or within the political class. Contrary to my assumption, on the 8th November 2012, I received an email from SURE-P (Graduate Internship Scheme) that I had been successfully selected.
A Pre - Deployment Employability Skills Workshop was organized for the interns by the Federal Ministry of Finance and we were taught 'Why organizations exist, critical components of organizational DNA, How to develop good work habits, Work ethics and Etiquette among other topics.
Consequently, I was deployed to Zenith Medical Centre in
In my place of assignment as an intern, I am assigned the duties of a Quality Assurance Officer. As the Quality Assurance Officer, I have acquired several employability skills such as good communication and excellent report writing skills, Analytical skills, Interpersonal skills, Ability to identify measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve performance relative to the goals of the system, to mention but a few. These skills have definitely made me a valuable asset to my immediate and future employer. I have been exposed to principles and processes in the work place.
I hereby use this opportunity to express my unflinching and unreserved appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance and other personalities who conceived this idea and made it possible like Dr. Okonjo Iweala for given the project team all the necessary support and direction for implementation of GIS. I also want to thank Dr. Christopher Kolade whose leadership in SURE-P made it possible for the project to be transparent so that people like me who have no connection in the corridor of power could benefit from this project, Finally, my Sincere appreciation goes to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for appointing Dr. Christopher Kolade to oversee the scheme and for thinking about the Nigerian graduates.
I want to make a passionate appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Minister of Finance and other stakeholders to ensure that this program continues so that other unemployed Nigerian graduates can continually benefit from this program.
Long Live The
Long Live SURE-P.
Thank you very much and God bless you all.