Working Lives

The Civil Servant Who Uses His Son as a Conductor

The Civil Servant Who Uses His Son s a Conductor

It depends on my body. Immediately after I come back from work, I will just eat and rest for about 20min then I will start my work. Sometimes one of my sons will follow me to keep me company and also act as my conductor. 

What is your name?

My name is Oludare Oluwanishola. I am from Ondo State.

Tell us about your family

I am married to my beautiful wife Bose, we met while we were both studying in the university and we have been married for almost 27 years. We are blessed with two handsome boys. They are both in Adekunle Ajasin University studying Political science and Business Administration respectively. My wife owns a provisions store and also runs a POS business. 

Tell us about your educational background?

I had my primary education at Oga primary school in Ikorodu before proceeding to Oriwu College for my secondary education. Gaining admission was not an easy feast for me, I kept on failing Jamb each time I sat for the exam. My parents suggested I learn a trade so I decided to learn how to repair diesel generators. I learnt that for four years and while I was learning I was actively seeking admission. At the end of the four year I gained admission to  study mechanical Engineering at Lagos State University.

How did you get into the civil service?

Getting a job with the government at that time was not as hard as it is now. Once you are educated and you know what to do you will get employed. What  helped me was the fact that I can repair machines and this enabled me to stand out. Nobody helped me secure the job. It was a bold step I took. I went to the ministry of employment to submit my credentials. I included the certificate I got from where I learnt how to fix generators. I am sure it was because of that skill they employed me. Other people who came for the same job had better grades than I did but I got the job and was told to resume at the ministry of works. That is where I have been working till now.

Which department do you work in?

Ministry of works and infrastructure.

Also Read: Working Lives: The Civil Servant Who Has To Carry Passengers To Fuel His Car

How long have you been in the civil service?

I have been working at the ministry of work and infrastructure for more than 20years now. 

What prompted you to use your car for commercial purposes i.e., driving passengers to their destinations in exchange for money?

Everybody has different reasons for buying a car, some buy their car for pleasure while some buy the car because he/she has the money. I will say I got my car for pleasure and also to earn money from it.  Sometimes I give my car to people for hire and at times I drive it around on weekends when I have nothing to do. I recently took a loan from the bank last year to complete my house. The bank deducts a certain percentage from my income monthly and the remaining amount I get is not enough to carry my family issue. I have two children in the university to cater for and I have my  aged parents dependent on me. Using my car for commercial purposes serves as another source of income to me.

 Which location(s) do you ply?

My house is in Isawo, in Agric. I have people who board my car from Ikeja to Isawo  and I charge them N500, N300 to Agric and N200 to Isawo. After dropping them off, I still go back to Agric to pick passengers. The evening period is always a rushing time at Agric, getting a bike is always difficult for people returning from work especially during the rainy period. Those are my routes for now.

How much do you charge for these location(s)?

Alausa to Isawo straight is N500 and from Agric to Isawo is sometimes N150 or N200.

Do you work as a commercial driver daily? What time do you resume?

I do this when I am not tired, when I am back from work and during weekends, but it’s not an everyday thing. It depends on my body. Immediately after I come back from work, I will just eat and rest for about 20min then I will start my work. Sometimes one of my sons will follow me to keep me company and also act as my conductor. 

How many hours do you work as a commercial driver?

My working time is mostly in the evening, I always look out for a rushing period.This is mostly in the Morning when people are going to work and Evening when they close from work.  I don’t work outside in the sun, I resume from 4pm till 10pm.

On average, how much do you earn daily?

After deducting fuel expenses I still have N8000  to N10000 on some days. Also, when it rains and there are no bikes we increase our fare from Agric to Isawo to N500. The amount I take home daily is not fixed.

Also Read: Working Lives: The Civil Servant Who Has To Carry Passengers To Fuel His Car

If tables were turned, would you rather not use your car for commercial purposes?

I will still use it, because leaving it at home will only allow it to accumulate dust.  If I want to go out, I will wash it and nobody will know I use it for commercial purposes. The car is just here to assist me financially. If money comes I will buy another one, but for now, except the table turns and I miraculously pay off my debt I can not stop using my car for commercial purposes.

People argue that civil servants are not paid well, hence, the few ones who own cars use their cars for commercial purposes to earn more money. What is your take on that?

It is better to have something to do, so that at the end of each month you have hope of money coming into your account. The amount you earn as a civil servant also depends on your grade. The government is trying on their own part, just that our expenses overshadow our income and this is why everybody is looking for a way to ease the expenses we face. People do different businesses not just using cars to transport passengers, some are into buying and selling foodstuffs and some cook from Thier homes to sell to people at the secretariats. The kind of business you choose depends on your skills and the conditions you find yourself in.

In your opinion, how can the government make civil service more rewarding?

The government is trying in my own view, at least there is transportation, it is just that the crowd is much. What I will suggest is increment of salaries, Lagos is very rich, let us enjoy the impact of the money, if you tell anybody you work at secretariat, they will tell you that you people are the one eating our money, which is not so, most people here use loan as cover up, government should just try and appreciate us, I know they are trying but they should do more.

What are your retirement plans?

Investing in transportation, I have experience in it and I know the business is profitable. When I retire, I will fully invest in the transportation business.

Obande Friday

Friday is a Mass Communication graduate of The Polytechnic of Ibadan. He has four years of content development experience. He loves lifting weights in his spare time.

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