Certificates no longer enough to thrive in Nigeria —Dr Shogo

Oyeniyi Oluwashogo, popularly known as Dr Shogo, is a personal productivity coach and an emotional intelligence expert. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, he speaks on general issues affecting youths and proffer solution for a resourceful society, especially through SMEs.

What is your position on the rampant loss of jobs among youthful Nigerians?

It is true that the loss of jobs among Nigerian youths is on the increase, but the only way people can overcome is to settle down and learn the process. If you jump the required process, your product cannot be right. The problem is that everyone wants to become a CEO, but the truth is everyone cannot be a CEO. Attitude is a big challenge amongst the youth. Above technical competence or expertise, attitude to work, authority and life really matters.


What is your take on the notion that the economy of the country is not conducive for the survival of Nigerian youths?

I would say that the economic environment can be better, but life does not respect excuses. There are a lot of youths that are still thriving in this same economy; most of the finest companies are spearheaded by youths. The point is there is a difference between having resources and being resourceful. Resourcefulness is the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. Unfortunately, a lot of youths want a get rich quick scheme to success in life. Being a resourceful person includes characteristics like creativity, determination, passion, curiosity and resolve. The same country where people complain of the economy, some other nationals are relocating to start a business and also we have new businesses attracting millions of dollars in form of investment.


With your wealth of experience, do you think SMEs can truly thrive in Nigeria, considering the many challenges of many young entrepreneurs?

The key trait every entrepreneur must have is vision and resilience. The journey of being an entrepreneur anywhere in the world is a marathon not a race. But because a lot of people have shallow their drives and staying power isn’t strong, so they give up too easily. As I said earlier, we have SMEs thriving in Nigeria, so my answer is yes; SMEs can thrive in Nigeria, especially when they are providing solutions to problems of the masses.


What should be the hope of many young Nigerians that might still suffer a great setback as a result of the economic crunch?

The hope is to learn new skills; I will like to call it skills of the future. If you’re relevant you will be in demand. Learning is not a destination; it is a journey. Basic university or any tertiary institution certificate isn’t enough anymore. The youth have to keep educating and developing themselves. There is a difference between schooling and education.


But education has been prioritised than vocational skills in Nigeria unlike other advanced counties, what is your take?

That is one of the undoing of our society. We are quick to look down on technical and handy work; everyone wants to work in an office with suit and tie. But from my coaching and counseling experience, I realised that when a lot of people are relocating out of the country, they ironically want to learn a vocational skill as a backup plan to make money. Vocational skills are important in life and for survival; it gives you freedom as opposed to security of a paid or white collar job. Vocational skills are practical or firsthand skills that help a person master a trade or a job. These skills may be obtained on the job or at a vocational school.


As a life coach and emotional intelligence expert, how would you react to rampant cases of depression and suicide among Nigerians, especially among the young ones?

Depression doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process and symptoms must have persisted for two weeks minimum before it can be termed. There are a lot of factors that are leading to depression and suicide amongst youths, what I want to dwell on briefly might sound unbelievable, but it is what it is, social media is one of the major cause of depression amongst youths, especially when comparing someone else’s front life with your own back life forgetting that everyone wants to look good and rich on social media even if it is not real. This unbalanced and unwarranted comparison has led to stealing and borrowing to keep up and at the end of the day, when you can’t fake it any longer depression sets in. They lose essence of life and eventually resort to suicide. Depression is usually a progression from cluelessness to helplessness to hopelessness then depression. We live in a gadget world now, real friendship is almost non existent, but as humans, we need a support system. Find yours and always speak out when you feel helpless.


The cases of murder and torture among couples are on the increase as well as divorce cases, what to you think is responsible for this?

Permit me to first address the rise in divorce cases, for me; I will say it is a case of babies marrying babies. Marriage isn’t for babies; it’s for adults and matured souls. A lot of marriages under five years crash these days; I will attribute this to parenting. It starts from how kids are being raised and rushed through schools these days. You see kids entering secondary school at age nine, by 14 to 15 years, they are leaving for university; graduate at around 20 to 21! What is the rush about? Before you know it, they are rushed into marriage after getting good jobs and making some small cash.

Don’t get me wrong here; I don’t have an issue against a fast academic life that is balanced with maturity and emotional stability. Unfortunately, most people don’t have these skills. I will like to use this medium to appeal to parents, stop rushing their kids through school. The multiplier effect is deadly. Growing up, we left secondary school at 18. A lot of young marriages crash because they are not well equipped for the sacred institution and also they haven’t seen a good model growing up either. It is not enough to send kids to good schools and make good grades without paying attention to their moral upbringing. House maids can’t do this effectively.

As for torture and murder cases, emotional intelligence comes into play here. You need to know your threshold and understand the concept of self regulation, unfortunately when our emotions rules and owns us, it is a wild fire and the damage has usually been done before the anger fades.


How have you been able to impact positively with your expertise?

I help people get clarity on their life’s goals and work toward achieving them. I also help people and organisations create a blueprint for change and success in their endeavours which in turn increases the productivity level of the society.


What is your advice for youths?

To the youths, believe in yourself, develop your capacity, don’t give up and there’s no short cut to success.

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