“Why I Want To Become A Truck Driver” Trainees at the Dangote Group Graduate Truck Driving Scheme give their Reasons

Exactly one week ago, when news broke that Dangote Group had received a staggering 13,000 applications from graduates for employment as truck drivers, out of whom were  6 Ph.D and 704 Masters degree holders, we asked the question – why do post-graduate degree holders want to become drivers?

Our esteemed readers attempted to give explanations for the high number of graduates that applied for the job, forming an interesting debate. However, in this report by Weekly Trust where some of the successful applicants were interviewed, we were finally able to hear from the horse’s mouth.

The 2000 lucky applicants have begun training programme in batches at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, which would be run in four years. About 100 pioneer batch members have already commenced a three-month training at the NITT. There, to differentiate the graduate truck drivers from the conventional trailer drivers, their instructors call them “logistics assistants”.

One of them is Henry Pender, a graduate of Political Science from the University of Ibadan. He graduated in 2000 and has worked as a banker with  All States Trust Bank (now defunct), Oceanic Bank and Ecobank. He had to leave the  banking industry when he married his colleague “because the human resource policy then did not allow spouses to work in the same office. I felt that my wife should stay behind while I as a man would look around for something to do. It wasn’t easy, because the job was not forthcoming as I thought.

He said he likes driving and travelling and has driven a lot since he became a professional driver. He also explained that he decided to join the truck driving profession out of interest not for material reward.

What I would say lured me into joining the truck driving profession is the name Dangote that is known locally and internationally. I bet you that if it were some other companies that came up with this initiative, some of us may not be here but the mention of the name Dangote, one would know that there is quality; there is a personality behind it; there is international recognition; that is what lured most of us here beyond any other material gain.”

He also added that he had been informed at the training school that after successful driving for a certain period, or covering of certain mileage, one would be able to own a truck.

Adebayo Fadewon holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Ladoke Akintola University, Oyo State. He worked at the  First City Emolument Bank for three years before joining the Dangote Truck Driving programme. He also loves driving and travelling and has some experience with the profession. “When I left the banking sector, I started doing something like this. I engaged in hire service with my car and I did that under my registered company. For me, this programme is just like home coming. I think what Dangote is trying to do is to bring up people like him, because good leaders always groom their successors. Dangote wants to help people to be on their own, therefore we must salute this sound initiative.

He said he is looking forward to a monthly salary of N300,000 which is a motivation. But he added  “the knowledge we are acquiring now is far above other material gains.”

Okafor Martins, a graduate of  Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Federal University of Technology (FUTO)  is also expecting a monthly salary between N250,000 and N300,000 when he begins to steer the wheels of his truck on the highway.

I have never been a driver, but when I saw the advert, I developed interest. Honestly, the name Dangote attracted me to this place, because I know he must have good package for us. This is my passion for it. I just don’t want to be a common driver, but I want to make a difference between graduate-driver and a layman driver. I am sure when we start plying the highways; Nigerians would begin to see the difference because we would be trained drivers,” he said.

Olowokere Oladele Yakub, a Mathematics (Education) graduate from University of Lagos  said he is passionate about this programme, because of the need to develop this kind of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. “I am into this programme, because I also have passion for farming. I feel that to be able to handle my farming activities effectively, I need to learn how to drive a truck. Nothing comes easy in this life. One has to work before becoming successful.”

It can therefore be deduced from their comments that the three major attractions were: 1. The name “Dangote”  2. A monthly salary of between N250,000 to N300,000  3. A desire to make a difference between a graduate driver and a layman driver.

Good enough reasons?

25 Comments on “Why I Want To Become A Truck Driver” Trainees at the Dangote Group Graduate Truck Driving Scheme give their Reasons
  • kiki November 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

    And what happens after the 3 months training, are they offered full-time jobs???

    • Chester November 12, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Aunty, Go back and read it again.

      • Glossy November 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

        Thank you Chester for that anwser, i dont know how some people read.

  • okpe Mart November 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

    First I must thank Mr dangote for coming up with this idea, he has done what the government failed to do. for the applicants, I salute there courage and admire there smart decision making….we young Nigerians has been completely push to the walls and grossly exploited..certificates means nothing when you can not make a good leaving holding them… I see a very good reason taking up this job ,and even beg that more of such opportunity be thrown open to help elevate the suffering of the great and enthusiastic youths of this great nation, for a change.

  • douby November 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Bullocks! BS! Dis article is obviously propaganda, what do they expect this people to say (dats if dey are real ppl, cos sincerely their names just sound like anonymouses on blogs) that they took the joob cos they had absolutely no option?? Abegi!!!

    • Frederick November 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Yep, they are real people…for one, I know Henry Pender. Don’t jump to conclusions without exploring the facts. Makes you look a tard ignorant.

  • ArabianPrincess November 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

    @douby, they are real people…I personally knoww the ‘Olowokere Yaqub’ guy and I was even surprised to see his name there. One thing I want us to know is that these jobs we think is below standard is someone’s means of living a life. Better to work than steal as there is dignity in labour. I just want people not to despise little beginnings…#MyTwoCents

    • Non professional opinion November 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Our people really despise small beginnings which is why some would rather do armed robbery than become a driver. All these guys claiming to be lured by the love of driving and the Dangote name is a load of BS but as long as they are happy and can fend for their family’s, who cares.

    • eva November 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      does he need all that explanations? Bus conductors make more than graduates in state’s Civil Service. (using Anambra as an Instance)

  • Tosin A. November 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

    It’s very sad that graduates like these above names mentioned would invest their hard earned degree on becoming a driver, it just shows the rate of Nigeria’s unemployment plague. I can’t imagine if we have this well educated individuals in the important sectors of our economy! Not illiterates as governors and senators! A driver is a driver either for Damgote or a small firm, all this people shouldn’t be excited about the 300,000 naira salary their education is far more valuable that the amount , there are HND holders in govt earning millions per month…. I wish Nigeria God’s healing .. Rather appalling :(

    • vanessa November 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

      @Tosin A please which govt official with hnd earns millions a year and where .I think thats just an over exxageration.
      Call it whatever you like at the end of the month they are smiling to the bank for their pay checks of 300gees.These men got responsibities and now they got a job to cover it .How many companies will start you on 300k.If its the dressing they can wear suits,good shoes and still drive finito.

    • Dr Dee November 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Why shouldnt they be excited? There is dignity in labour and there is nothing as bad as a graduate languishing at home due to unemployment. Driving trucks was never their ambition in life, its just the consequence of our failed nation!

    • e-bukun November 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      And you’d rather they go into government and loot billions right? Wow! I’m sorry I’d rather earn an honest couple of thousands, than steal them.

    • eva November 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Tosin, I don’t think 300,000.00 might be real. however, you need just 2 days of hunger to grab 20,000.00 job.; some might find this as a capital raising venture

  • ofilispeaks November 12, 2012 at 10:41 am

    “there are HND holders in govt earning millions per month”

    @Tosin A: emmmm you mean stealing millions per month.

    • Mz Socially Awkward.... November 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      God bless you richly for pointing that out. It’s worrying that Nigerians have been completely seduced by the glossy surreal existence of a certain minority in our society and now seem totally blind to what our harsh realities have truly become…

  • Brandigest November 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

    @Tosin @Ofili, Yes, HND holders stealing millions in govt… http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  • pynk November 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Dangote aint paying no truck driver N300k per month. The goal is that they own the truck at the end of 2 years or so. Lol. Maybe plus the ownership of the truck it adds up to N300k. Dangote is a shrew bizman. The guy’s brain is $$ signs.

  • Chattyzee November 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    hmmmm I’m not sure about publishing these people’s names o…. But hey, people have to do what they can to fend for their families so it is well…. But if this is what Nigeria has degenerated to then God is in control…

    http://nigerianmoviereviews.blogspot.com/

  • All about Nigeria November 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    This is a good idea by Mr. Dangote. Although the Nigerian Economy is bad, Mr. Dangote has found a means to better and improve the lives of unemployed graduates in the country. Thumbs up Mr. Dangote, nice work.

  • @ajiriavae November 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    It is good, honest work. Anybody that looks down on it is filled with pride and arrogance. Anybody that thinks that the certificate is more important than the money doesn’t have responsibilities.

  • NNENNE November 15, 2012 at 4:22 am

    All the world people with “big,big”degrees sometimes do mean jobs in the beginning of their careers. Even in the developed world.
    When these Hard working , unassuming young men eventually become comfortable in life, people will start being jealous. They will not see what they are going through now.

  • NNENNE November 15, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Meant..All over the world…

  • chuka November 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    It is really sad that this is playing out in Nigeria. It reflects failure at different levels of society. I dont blame those who despite their educational backgrounds opted for this job because they lack options- forget the talk of love of driving etc. The major tragedy really is that our educational system is so poor in contents that the materials churned out are bereft of the requisite capacity to do what would have enabled them escape the circumstances that pushed them to consider this kind of job as an option. I do hope that the job will enable them cross over the emotional and mental debilitation that severe financial challenges occassions and then have the strength for the rigors of thought and action commensurate with their aducation that will help them assume their rightful positions in society as members of the skill pool in nigeria.

  • Forbang Frank July 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    How do i do to become a truck driver?

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