Clarity: What a Dwarf Cup of Water Taught Me About Terms & Conditions.

It was a sunny afternoon in JSS 1. I was new to the secondary school system. Coming from a private primary school where every pupil is monitored and treated specially (why won’t they, I no dey pay?)
Everything was new to me. The most intriguing was the level of independence each pupil had. No teachers staying in class all day, different teachers for each subject and some would still decide not to show up. This golden lesson on terms and conditions was passed down to me just by the window to my classroom by my classmates. I found a group of new classmates arguing and haggling, so I decided to join them out of curiosity. Little did I know I was the mark. A boy held a dwarf cup full of water and claimed no one could ever finish the water in it. I laughed and looked at them ridiculously. How on earth wont I finish this small cup of water? I retorted.

The boy holding the cup shouted “You cant, and I can bet my life on it, oya bring out your money” he said as he dropped a new 50 naira note.
O_O “chai! See money”, I said under my breath. I looked at the boy, his money and the dwarf cup of water I was told I could not finish. I laughed and dropped my bet. There was an uproar. I few nairas exchanged hands. Those were the side betting. I picked the cup of water and downed its content in one gulp, smiling. I was a winner. I had extra cash with me. As I made for the bookie hoping to claim my winnings. The boy asked to check If I had actually finished the water. I became puzzled, is he blind or what I asked. After careful inspection, he announced I did not. My eyes turned red. The world literally froze in time, just like the Nicki Minaj pepsi advert. “It’s a lie, you are cheats” I bellowed trying to conceal my tears. “Oya prove it.” I asked locking his white shirt in a grip. And he did show me. What he showed me has stuck with me for years. He said no one could finish the water without leaving those tiny droplets of water. It then dawned on me how foolish I had been. The possibility of an easy win had clouded my reasoning. I did not clarify what the bet was about. I had sized up the dwarf cup and its content and acted gullibly. And that’s what most people do. They sign documents and contracts without reading the fine lines. Yet when a breach of contract occurs, they scream foul play. Albeit, if they had taken time to read the contract papers well, they would have been able to negotiate a better contract or sign no contracts at all.
Are you about to sign a document? Here are a few tips that could help when signing your next document.

1. A contract or agreement is a document that states terms of engagement between two parties. It could be for any purpose. For example, because I have a blog, you expect me to post articles that enlighten and inform you on my blog. While I expect you to read, comment and share my posts on social media. Then we agree by signing. You get the drift? Right! Let’s move to the next point.

2. Read The entire Document: You need to read and understand the T&Cs of any agreement before signing because simply put, that’s what makes up the agreement. once you sign, you are bound by whatever was written as a term in that agreement.

3. Identify Vague Terms: A term needs to be explicit not implicit. Because contracts and agreements are expectations of parties involved, some terms may have different meanings to each party. There’s really nothing like a hidden clause in an agreement. It may only be vague. If a term is vague or you don’t really understand, you need to communicate to the other party to clarify.

4. You are not under any obligation or coercion to sign any agreement if it seems too demanding. Sometimes, agreements go back and forth between parties several times before they agree on a final one.

5. If there’s a breach of contract, you have the right to sue and are liable to be sued.

6. If a contract seems to good to be true, it may actually not be good at all.

7. I have fulfilled my part of this contract by posting this article. Oya biko, fulfill yours by commenting and please share.
Thanks.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @phemyte

Three Lessons Pee-ing In A Bottle Taught Me About Talent and Self Discovery

 

 “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it would live its entire life thinking it’s stupid.”-Albert Einstein

urinatinginbottles-300x203
pee in a bottle

 

            There’s a common argument about what a man can do a woman can do better. Both parties cite instances of how one surpasses the other in various activities. Ridiculous and hilarious as it sounds, the only instance where a woman has not been able to outdo a man is this; much as a woman tries, she cannot accurately pee in a bottle without spilling her by-product of deamination all over the place. A man on the other hand can perform this feat.

What this scenario tells me every time the argument occurs is just a simple truth that I have summed in three points:

1. A man can pee and a woman can pee: They are both skilled and gifted. Everyone has an area of gifting. No matter how useless or skill-less you think you are, there is something you are talented with. You might not have discovered it yet, but it’s there.

2. A man’s member is more suited to pee-ing in a bottle than that of a woman. So it’s not only about having talents and discovering what skills you have. It’s sometimes about in what areas you are gifted at.

3. The discovery of what you can do with your talent and how is your prerogative. – For a man to pee in a bottle without spilling, he needs to bring the bottle close to his member and execute the project. This is where knowing how to use your talent comes into play. No matter how gifted you are, if you have no idea how to use it, you perform below par and make a mess of yourself. No matter how suited a man’s member is designed to pee in a bottle, if he stands at a distance to pee in the bottle, the best he can do is quarter or half the bottle.

         Albert Einstein once said, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it would live its entire life thinking it’s stupid.” However, @ofilispeaks has his version of the quote which is quite apt for this post. “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it would not only live its entire life thinking it’s stupid, it would live its life thinking it’s inferior to the monkey.”

        So what this implies is this, comparing men and women along some parallel lines can be dumb. Why not just acknowledge the unique virtues in each sex and appreciate their differences. That we are different doesn’t mean we are better than each other.

 

You have a different view? kindly use the comment box below to share your opinions. You can also follow me on twitter, @phemyte thanks.

How To Make Agriculture Youth Friendly In Nigeria: The Problems and Solutions.

Encouraging Youth Farming

Encouraging Youth Farming

Introduction:

Engaging youth in agriculture has been a prominent topic recently and has risen up the development agenda, as there is growing concern worldwide that young people have become disenchanted with agriculture.

With most young people – around 85% – living in developing countries, where agriculture is likely to provide the main source of income it is vital that young people are connected with farming.*

The Problems.

1. Perception / Image
The number one impediment against youths embracing agriculture as a livelihood in nigeria and africa as a whole is the image problem. Youths generally feel agriculture is a dirty profession. A profession that doesn’t allow you make up or knot a tie. With over 70 percent of farmers as adults who live in the rural areas with non existent basic amenities. The idea that a young school graduate will abandon the sparks of city lights and sojourn the rural areas to establish a farm is rather absurd. The paper based educational system we run in nigeria is also a factor to consider. The system gives the youths a false sense of elitism. We are so deceived by our certificates that we are not ready to pick the hoes. It is so surprising when an agricultural graduate prints resumes and start looking for jobs. One begins to wonder in what capacity we hope to be employed. Life in The agrarian communities also indirectly discourage youth participation in agriculture. Truth be told all the sons and daughters of farmers are in the city or planing to be. They see the efforts of their parents compared to the rewards and they vow to make things better. Tell me, when the farmers off springs are fleeing the farm stead, what will attract a city youth to the farm stead?

2. A faulty agricultural curriculum.
I fault the present agricultural curriculum on two fronts.

a. Outdated and Insufficient Curriculum.

b. Theoretical agriculture.

a. Outdated and Insufficient Curriculum.
I recall a lecturer of mine back in school. The course was cash crops. She went ahead too give export data on each cash crop and surprisingly, all numbers were for the 1970s. The most up to date was 1985. I imagine what projections an agricultural student could make with a 1970 data in the 2000s. After that class, only two possibilities scream at me. It is either the lecturer was too lazy to research or there were insufficient agricultural data. I chose to go with the latter because in the 1970s, nigeria was basking in the wealth of its new found oil. Leading to the neglect of agriculture.

b. Theoretical Agriculture.: Ask any agricultural student. They will tell you how cumbersome the curriculum is. I know university education in nigeria is mostly theoretical, but agriculture is super theoretical. There was no department we didn’t borrow a course from. Statistics, business admin, law, anatomy the list is endless. I am also aware that agriculture is a broad course. You need to learn the business side, learn the physiology and anatomy of livestock, and understand the residual effects or herbicides and fertilizers hence the chemistry. However back then the class work was gigantic coupled with overcrowded classrooms and the obvious less farm work. Lecture periods were purely dictation classes.

3. A Barrier In The Information Channel.
There are about 21** agricultural related research institutes in nigeria. Yet the diffusion of information and adoption of innovation rate is grossly underwhelming. As a trained extension agent, it is disheartening to declare that there are about one extension agent to three thousand farmers (1:3000***). The present ratio is inadequate for effective agricultural information diffusion. This is part of the bottleneck that hinders the flow of information. How do I cope with three thousand farmers? Yes there are mass communication channels of disseminating information (Television, radio and newspapers.) But each with its peculiar limitation such as power, and even the conflicting times that the agricultural programs are aired. Let’s not forget the near absence of agricultural programs compared to music programs.

4. Government Policies. Thank God for YouWin! Nigerian policies hardly involve the youths. The champion agricultural policy in nigeria today is subsidized fertilizers for farmers which end up being politicized.

The Solutions.

1. Perception/Image. There is more to agriculture than hoes and cutlass. We need to make known the opportunities that exists in the agricultural sector. One of such possibility is the value chain re orientation. Research institutions and universities need to seek new ways of using agricultural products. If cassava for example has about ten commercially viable by products, it will create an artificial rise in demand and scarcity of the produce. This will enable more youths to see the areas where their expertise are needed. Thus creating several jobs on two planes.

I) The increased production of cassava.

II) The commercially viable products of cassava.

This will have a multiplier effect on sectors of the economy because there will be need for marketing, branding and packaging etc. Replicate this model for other crops in nigeria and we have a staggering bountiful agricultural sector.

2. A New Agricultural Curriculum. A new curriculum should be in place. One that ensures active participation of students in farm and crop management. It is obvious that one year of farm work is not enough for a country who intends to feed its teeming population. A semester of broiler production and a semester of vegetable production does not elicit enough interest for sustenance and continuity. For mastery to be achieved, repetition must occur.

3. Barriers in Information Dissemination.

Research institutes and universities need to figure out a way to push out the research data gathering dusts in school libraries and let innovations be modeled in universities. One of the functions of universities in their host communities is to diffuse development. If the agricultural community on university campuses actually champion the innovations, diffusion and adoption will be easier. When agricultural model farms in universities turn out good yield and are well packaged, the surrounding communities will love to have access to such inputs. Thus encouraging innovation adoption. Imagine having UNILORIN Garri, UNAAB CASSAVA, UNIABUJA Maize, FUTA Honey etc available in the host comunity markets. The success of such agro products will improve farm related economic activity. It will also add a sense of pride and a feather to the cap of students who produce such products.
More farmers will also be reached by this means and will reduce in some way the workload of extension agents in such areas. Also when youths are exposed to and aware of innovations in their field of study, for a considerable period, they will be encouraged to practice their profession.

4. Government Policies:
A lecturer of mine once opined that agricultural students should be encouraged financially. This can be achieved by providing loans for students who might wish to pursue different aspects of agriculture. The twist is to make this funds available and accessible right from commencement of his/her study program with their certificates and some other things as collateral. He said this will ensure the student is well adapted to agricultural production and would have achieved a level of competence upon graduation.

In what other ways can Nigeria make Agriculture Youth friendly? Please share your views in the comment box. You can also join the conversation on twitter ~@phemyte.
Thanks.
________________

* Engaging Youth in Agriculture – The Key to a Food Secure Future?

** Number of research institutes in Nigeria

*** Information Needs of Small Scale Farmers in Africa: The Nigerian Example

Revealed! 5 Top Reasons Why You Need A Skills Inventory.

Sample Skill Inventory

Sample Skill Inventory

What is a skills Inventory?

According to Wiki, Skills inventory is a list of your abilities, qualifications, and career goals.

OR

A Skills inventory is a listing of abilities, capacities, qualifications, and career goals of the employees to identify suitable candidates for internal recruitment or promotions.
Business Dictionary

I call it a reservoir of the skills and capabilities an individual possesses.

Why should everyone have a skill inventory?

1. In today’s dynamic world, employers are beginning to realize that certification alone is not enough. Employability skills are lacking and only those who possess the right skills will be considered.

2. Skills can get you self employed. According to indexmundi, the latest unemployment rate in Nigeria is 23.9 percent. By having a skills inventory, you will be able to identify areas of passion for possible self employment or career development.

3. It gives you an idea of how valuable you are and what you have to offer your employer.

4. It offers you a pool of relevant skills for job applications/career development.
A well prepared skill inventory comes in handy when you are applying for jobs. It helps you to include targeted and required job skills in your resume. It’s like building a house and having all the materials available on site. It makes the job faster.

5. It helps you to identify skill gaps. Skills inventories are good at identifying skill gaps. By having a personal skill inventory, you will be able to identify areas where you need further training and improvement.

These are some of the reasons why you need a skill inventory. I hope you have been enlightened.

Do you know some other reasons why everyone needs a skill inventory? Please use the comment box below to share your opinions. Thanks for reading.

Let’s continue the conversation on twitter follow me ~ @phemyte

Top Ten #AsuuShouldCalloffTheStrikeBecause Tweets.

ASUU strike is in its fourth month now and no compromise is in sight. Students are really getting nervous so they share their grievances on twitter.

Well here are my ten favorite #Asuushouldcalloffthestrikebecause tweets. Enjoy!

1. @ibromazinontop:@CoolFMNigeria #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause I have forgotten my matric number and the name of my HOD

2. @bumiey: #asuushouldcalloffthestrikebecause I have actually forgotten the topic of my project

3. @veek_vortex: @CoolFMNigeria @N6OFLIFE #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause I think am losing d genius in me. Diminishing returns is doing ma brain!

4. “@Jerryczar: @N6OFLIFE @CoolFMNigeria #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause there’s a shift of power from education to music. We gat more artist than fanz”

Better than cultism and robbery IMO

5. @Eloka_timmy: “@CoolFMNigeria: #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause asuu didn’t negotiate wit my landlord,my rent is running”

6. @hoylumeeday: “@CoolFMNigeria: #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause We can’t pay two house rent in one session

7. @divaPat92: @CoolFMNigeria #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause my sis cant spell anymore, she keeps asking me to spell words whenever she’s chatin…kai

Its obvious you spell better.

8. @adamushago: @CoolFMNigeria #ASUUSHOULDCALLOFFTHESTRIKEBECAUSE me I don tire…male student we re nw family driver, females don bcum house maids

9. “@Ameer_tsidi: #ASUUShouldCallOffTheStrikeBecause students need to go back to school, this idleness is abysmal and demoralising @CoolFMNigeria”

Prof obahiagbon in the making?

10. @iam_melp: @CoolFMNigeria: #Asuushouldcalloffthestrikebecause we are getting old we really need to graduate.

Well if one factors the five years experience HR’s ask for, this is Valid.

So there you have it. My ten favorite #Asuushouldcalloffthestrikebecause tweets.

You can also share yours in the comment box below.