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THE IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON EMPLOYMENT: WAY OUT FOR THE YOUTH -Adebayo Olowoake

Corruption has been identified as a negative phenomenon which has the capacity to stall the growth of many countries, especially the developing ones. Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit.[1] Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries.[2] 

It can best be described as the subversion of due process of transparency for personal gain. Just as corruption constitutes a serious threat to the growth and development of poor countries, so can it hinder the future of individuals, especially young people.

Today in our country, the future of many graduates from the nations over seventy-four universities is considerably hindered by acts of corruption. Although Government desires that most of those graduating from our universities and other higher institutions be self-employed, it is rather ambitious to expect this to happen in a few months after passing out of school. What this means of course is that most of these graduates have to seek paid employment.

Today, many of our youths fresh from higher institution want to work only in ‘favored industries’. Perhaps this is because the ‘major ‘employers today are the Telecommunications, Oil and Gas and Banking sectors. They take a significant proportion of our graduates and pay reasonably well.

Likewise, the public sector also employs, especially the teaching profession, whose intake nowadays is however no longer in favour of those not qualified to be teachers. This is because teaching has become a profession, and employment in this sector henceforth is likely to weigh in favour of those qualified as ‘teachers’ and not just any graduate.

While the ‘major’ employers listed above mainly function in the formal and necessarily in the urban areas, majority of our population are employed in the agricultural sector. This sector itself has not been radically transformed into a largescale, mechanized operation, and perhaps therefore it employs so many hands. This in my view is good for the country, as we have a high population which must be gainfully employed.

Corruption is not as real in the agriculture sector as it is the white collar, urban job setting. Many have argued that those mainly favoured in these sectors today, which are functionally service industries are females, rather than males. Many of these females, especially in the financial sector, are subjected to all forms of exploitation and abuse by their employers. Some are required to engage in unethical practices to obtain the jobs in the first place, and must continue sustaining such practices to keep their jobs.

Given the economic challenges facing the family, many have found it difficult to turn down such notorious advances. Many young males may not have as much options as their female counterparts. The outright corruption of the recruiting phase and the sustainability of the unethical practices in the employment chain often drives most young men into under-employment.

By this of course we mean a situation in which someone is employed to do those things for which he or she is over-qualified, such as petroleum engineering graduate ending up as a commercial bus driver! Other young men with poor upbringing, especially those bereft of sound religious or moral teaching end up taking to crime, as they strive to ‘make it’ in society.

Which is the way out for us you may ask? To begin with, we must go back to the time-tested values espoused by the Bible. ‘Train up your child in the way in which he should go’ the holy book says, ‘and when he grows up he will not depart from it’ (Proverb 22:6). At those times when unethical demand is made of us, either while seeking employment or when in it and we are required to subvert due process, we must be able to stand and be counted on the side of righteousness.  

Usually it is not as easy as it sounds, but the Bible admonishes that we shall not be tempted beyond our capacity to endure. Even when we fall short of the expectations of our savior, we need to return to him in penitence and repentance, resolving not to be a part of the past anymore. Those stronger in the faith (or stronger at that material moment) should help the weaker brother or sister and not condemn him or her, no matter the situation.

Let us remember that Christ our savior worked to redeem and not to condemn that harlot. He won Saul over and did not condemn him. Another major source of strength to lead us out of the rampaging corruption in the employment process is one Bible passage I have found very useful and very practical. It says, “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it well” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

This is a very powerful challenge, as many of our youths not only want to work in any of the sector outlined above, but failing to do so, they want to proceed above in search of what is often an illusive ambition, not well founded on good preparation and planning.

It is instructive for us to know that the potency of this passage can be found around us in our daily living where a woman selling “Akara” (Beans-cake) by the road side has already built a few houses from her modest occupation, or a Taxi cab has already acquired  two or three taxi cabs out of decent and honest taxi driving.

It is not until we work in an oil production company or in  a bank that we “Arive”, in fact, many who work in these places may not arrive at all if they do not imbibe and practice those tenets that Christ has challenged us to live by, and uphold sound ethical. As we ponder over the daunting challenges that corruption of employment process has bought to bear on us today, let us begin and end each with prayer, for we have been cautioned by the bible to “Watch and pray.” In particular, our decision-making must be predicated on prayer so that we choose the right profession, occupation or business to be engaged in.

Many of us however do not subject this aspect of our lives to the control of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, many a time, this writer has himself been guilty of this, but we do know for a certainty that those decisions we took with God’s leading often turned out ultimately for the best.

In conclusion, yes, the recruitment process may have been corrupted and indeed yes, there may be corruption in the employment and business clime, but the challenge for us, not just youths now, but all of us, is to strive prayerfully to uphold God’s standards in all our undertakings. It is by no means easy to do this, especially given the moral and economic conditions in which we live presently, but if we try and fail, we shall receive help from above.

if we repent and return to the path of righteousness. For those who have succeeded so far, let them continue in prayer for the leading of the Holy Spirit lest the tempter comes to orchestrate their fall. The following song can be a tower of strength to us in this wise:

When we walk with the Lord

In the light of His word

What a glory He sheds on her way

When we do `his good will

He abides with us still

And with all who will trust and obey

 

Trust and obey

For there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus

But to trust and obey.

May God help us as we seek the best occupation in line with His overall plans for our individual lives in Jesus name. amen

 

Reference:

[1]http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWBIGOVANTCOR/Resources/Legal_Corruption.pdf

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