Shola holds a HND in Banking and Finance but works with LAWMA where he sweeps the streets of Lagos.
In 2007, he graduated from MAPOLY (Moshood Abiola Poytechnic)with an HND in Banking and Finance.
As is the case with a lot of graduate, his search for a job was fruitless so he settled for working with LAWMA where he earns N12,000 per month.
Hear his story from him below;
I graduated with HND in Banking and Finance in Moshood Abiola Polytechnic MAPOLY in 2007. Since there was no job in Ogun state, I came to Lagos to find one.
Initially, I was working in marine – those people that clean gutters – but it was very dirty and was making me fall sick. People shit in the gutter and canal and we have no choice than to be packing it every day. I left it and decided to work on the road.
I was paid 15,000 Naira when I was in the marine department but now I am receiving 12,000 Naira.’
I don’t pay house rent. I live inside the garage inside the taxi of one of the drivers that know me around here because I clean this area. I can’t afford to pay house rent with my salary so I sleep there every night.
I get 1,500 Naira packing waste for different households in a week so I use that to support myself.’
‘Sometimes I will be cleaning and people will insult me to move out of their way or throw dirt on the road I have cleaned when they can see the dust bin close by. In fact, the insult is much but there is nothing I can do. The job has to be done. If not, I won’t get paid.’
‘This happened recently. You know those people that wear green; they are the ones that clean the highway. One of these public transport buses hit a woman working on the highway and threw her off the road. She died instantly. This is the reason why I can never work on the highway.’
These added risks do not translate into increased compensation for those who work on the highway. Shola said they all earn the same wages, except the marine workers whose pay was slightly higher. I then wondered why some people opted to work on the highway and face greater danger on a daily basis, with no financial incentive. It turns out they weren’t opting to do this in the first place – it was often a matter of luck, or the lack thereof.
‘It is where there is space to work that people will work, so if you want to work on the road but there is only a spot in highway, you will have to work there. You see, it is the situation of this country that makes people endanger their lives like this.’
In the course of working for LAWMA, Shola has experienced so many things that made him wish he could quit but he has to make a living and doesn’t want to resort to illegal means to do this, so he endures. He still has dreams that he wants to pursue and is not letting his present situation deter him from achieving them.
‘By God’s Grace, when I find a better job, I will resign from this one.’