WE ARE THE PROBLEM
Just last week, I started an IT program at a healthcare clinic it’s nothing too serious just to pass time wisely. So after I got acquainted with the place, I was handed to Dora a lab scientist she would be in charge of me until my two weeks at the lab was up and I would move to another department. Dora is an excellent lab scientist she knows her job and enjoys doing it, lest I fail to mention that she is the only woman in that department, while the rest are all men. I begin work by 9am and finish around 4pm, so far I’ve learnt all the different sample collection bottles, phlebotomy to be precise Dora has done an excellent job in teaching me all that phlebotomy entails.
On a Wednesday, around lunch time, I noticed that Dora was a bit subdued and since we got on really well I decided to ask her what was wrong. She hesitated a bit, unsure if I was trustworthy but she finally told me. Recall earlier when I said she was the only female in her department? Not only is she the only female but also the only Nigerian, the others are from India. Basically, the management is really “strict” on internet use in the clinic but it seems that that policy is focused mainly on local personnel, she told me that she wasn’t allowed to have the wifi password and also not allowed to use it on her phone. I mean that isn’t a bad policy but shouldn’t it be for everyone? Right before my eyes, one of the men ordered a new iPhone and you need wifi to set it up, he wasted no time in going to the IT department and he was given the password same goes for the rest of them. I see them use their laptops, tablets, phones etc and I know it’s with the clinic’s wifi. They use it to skype, browse and all what not but Dora isn’t allowed.
You see herein lies my greatest disdain for Nigerian company directors, managers etc. When a company employs foreigners they treat them better than they would a Nigerian in the same post and I’m still lost as to why this is happening in this day and age. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be treated well but the same treatment should be extended to your fellow people. When a Nigerian travels out to seek for employment and gets it, he is definitely not treated as better than the local staff. But that is the exact opposite in my beloved country, in this clinic the men I mentioned earlier have their accommodation taken care of by the company, their transportation is also covered and of course they have higher pay yet occupy the same job position as Dora. And we still delude ourselves that we are moving forward? When Dora was telling me about her situation I could see the hurt behind her eyes, of course her accommodation and transportation isn’t covered by the company. She told me that she is just as good as the men that the only difference is that they were taught how to use the different lab equipment and she wasn’t but can you blame her? I blame our education system and how inferior it makes one feel.
This rubbish needs to be stopped and as soon as possible for that matter, Nigerians are just as good as the foreigners that those companies employ. How does it even sit right with these companies that treat their people as lesser than their precious overseas staff? We make them feel as if they are better but they are not. We are just as good as they are. Don’t get me wrong, if a foreigner occupies a higher post then they should be treated as such but my focus is when a foreigner and a Nigerian occupy the same post. Honestly, it breaks my heart that we still have the mentality that a white man can do better than we can. Dora also told me how a patient refused to let her take his blood sample, and get this this man was very sick, he was even smelling bad yet he had the audacity to request for a non-Nigerian. What kind of nonsense is that? It just goes to show the level of idiocy that still plagues this country.
I hope that someone sees this and shares it so that it can get to the people who make these one-sided policies. Treat your employees as they deserve, offer them the same health and dental insurance that you give your precious foreign staff, if you’re giving them accommodation then give the locals too and sit back and watch an improvement in your company. Also, give us a chance there are thousands of qualified graduates that can do the job that you travel to look for people doing the same job. Finally, the mentality that if a company employs more foreign staff, it is inherently a better company needs to stop and this is especially in the medical field. I know that we still have a long way to go but if you keep employing foreigners to do the job then how can we ever know that we can do it? We know the problem and solution so what are waiting for?