What is your name?
My name is Mercy John. I am a graduate of History and International Studies from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. I graduated in 2007. I am single and presently live with my brother-in-law in a two-room apartment in Uyo.
Where do you work?
I currently work in an estate agent firm.
How much is your salary per month?
My salary is N10,000.
How do you cope with your salary considering the high cost of living in Uyo?
My salary is not enough for me. You can’t believe that I depend on my brother in-law for my daily needs. I spend my entire salary only a few days after I receive it. It is unbelievable that a graduate in Nigeria undergoes this kind of suffering.
Is it necessary for you to continue doing this job?
Yes, I cannot stay idle at home. I prefer to keep myself busy, just to leave home, for the fun of it. To stay at home, one is likely to accumulate stress and troubles for oneself. There are no job opportunities in the country. Some of us who have learnt vocational trade after university education, cannot even get money to start up something as friends, relations, banks and others, keep turning one down once one asks them to fund your project.
To me, this is an avenue to keep myself busy with a possibility of getting a better future offer. There are many things I have learnt on this job. Although the money I am paid is insignificant, if I were to go for training, I think I would have paid huge sums of money to get it.
Akwa Ibom State is a civil service state; jobs are scarce in the state as the state government is the sole generator of jobs. The teaching service has been highly politicised. If you do not know anybody, you will just be going for interviews without any likelihood of you getting a job.