Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why I Left My Banking Job To Become A Truck Driver with Dangote - Ph.D Holder

Henry Pender is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Ibadan. Pender graduated in 2000 and has worked as a banker, yet he is among the about 100 graduates undergoing training to become truck drivers; or rather logistics assistants. Pender is also the class governor of this first batch of trainees.

“After my service, I had the privilege of being retained at the Rivers State Primary Education Board where I did my primary assignment.

I was with them for about a year before I joined the All States Trust Bank, which is now defunct. I worked with them for three years before I joined the Ecobank, from there I moved to the Oceanic Bank before joining Ecobank again after the acquisition of Oceanic Bank by Ecobank. Click to continue reading.

“I had to leave the banking industry when I married my colleague, because the human resource policy then did not allow spouses to work in the same office. I felt that my wife should stay behind while I as a man would look around for something to do. It wasn’t easy, because the job was not forthcoming as I thought. I attended a couple of interviews at different places, but I didn’t get what I was looking for.

“When this opportunity of becoming truck driver with Dangote presented itself, I applied with open mind. I felt that this is an opportunity for a new beginning to move into a new paradigm that is not explored. We have just begun the journey in the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT). I was pleasantly surprised when I came here to see people from different backgrounds and professions.

“We are all getting along very well. I am looking forward for an experience that would improve our larger society. Dangote has put something in place that would turn out to be a revolution in the transport industry in this country. I think this programme would eventually become a model that all organisations of international standard would adopt in no distance future.

“From personal point of view, I like driving. I have driven a lot since when I became a professional driver and I like travelling. But by coming here, I have been exposed to the academic side of driving. I feel that whatever I do as a graduate, there should be a level of expected difference from what a layman would do. I think the objective of employing graduates as drivers is for sanity to be restored on our highways. Most of us are victims of the recklessness of heavy truck drivers and this is what this initiative wants to address. We are being trained here to become complete gentlemen as drivers,” Pender said.

He explained that he has, essentially, decided to join the truck driving profession out of interest not for material reward.

“As at the time we had our interview, there was no mention of any material reward. It is now that we are hearing that after a successful driving for a certain period, or covering of certain mileage that one would own a truck or things like that. No such thing was mentioned; there was no mention of special incentives rather than we would be employed and paid salaries.

“What I would say lured me into joining the truck driving profession is the name Dangote that is known locally and internationally. I bet you that if it were some other companies that came up with this initiative, some of us may not be here but the mention of the name Dangote, one would know that there is quality; there is a personality behind it; there is international recognition; that is what lured most of us here beyond any other material gain.

“We only discovered the entrepreneurial incentive of this programme when we came here; when most of us have completed their registration. Being somebody who had the experience of the banking sector, I would quickly join Dangote, because I know I would have job security and we are enjoying ourselves here in the NITT as the pioneer batch of this training programme. I never knew there is an institute like the NITT in Nigeria. We are grateful to them for the knowledge they are impacting in us.

“I want to also use this medium to urge the youth of Nigeria to work hard. We have to make names for ourselves by working hard as it is not all of us who are children of the privileged, therefore we are here as part of our dignity of labour. I would rather stay here and do this work than apply for visa to go abroad and face all kinds of humiliation by washing toilets or driving taxi while I have a similar option here, which I would do with dignity and leave a good example for the upcoming ones,” Pender explained.

Culled from Weekly Trust


  1. Smtcheeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

  2. All I smell is frustration, frustration , anger .
    If I am an employer I won't employ someone who spent btw 4-5 years to get his B.Sc, 1 - 2 years to get his Masters and 3-4 years to get his PhD. That is a total of a 8- 11 years on a career path.
    Can the guy sincerely answer d question "Why it took him so long to finally decide that driving is d best career for him"

    I wont blame him but a country that has no plan for her intellects.What a shame!

    i hope one of these days , when he gets an offer from Shell or Mobil , his stance wont change.

    I wish him d best in his career. For Nigeria , I say Cry Giant Cry , for many art thy afflictions in d hands of mafiaso called government

  3. I love your spirit bro. Its high time we started realising that all legal jobs are good jobs. Irrespective of what its tagged

  4. Woww...This is ά̲̣̥ touching story. Its shows this man still believes in himself.. Working as ά̲̣̥ truck driver with Dangote group can still give him the oppurtunity of becoming ά̲̣̥ logistic manager oneday with his qualification....All the very best to Mr Ponder in his new career!

  5. Woww...This is ά̲̣̥ touching story. Its shows this man still believes in himself.. Working as ά̲̣̥ truck driver with Dangote group can still give him the oppurtunity of becoming ά̲̣̥ logistic manager oneday with his qualification....All the very best to Mr Ponder in his new career!

  6. He didn't leave his banking job to be a truck driver; he left for personal reasons. Rubbish sensationalist reporting.

  7. Rubbish! Ths man hasn't spoken well! Tell me u need to feed ur family or u taking ths job bcos there are no other jobs I won't be angry, but to say bcos u like to drive or ths is an opportuinty is rubbish! God forbid! u can start a business n make it, too bad most Nigerians can't think even with all d phd.

  8. More grease to your elbow sir! You are my role model.

  9. I like his determination and open mindedness. I see him progressing from this role to another and an even better role in the same company. He who wears the shoes knows where it pinches.

  10. Way to go Son,proud of u n I hope others learn from you,if nigerians can do odd jobs abroad then I see nothing wrong in serving ur country.Godbless u

  11. Dis one na purely ise aye..I no even read am finish

  12. If he got his first degree in 2000, when did he obtained his Masters and den the PhD cos der's no mention of dat in the story. Also, he started working immediately after service. He worked as a banker until the acquisition of oceanic bank by ecobank which is quite recent and we know how time demanding the banking profession is. So my question again is "r u sure dis guys is one of the 6 PhD holders or just a one of the graduate drivers?"

  13. At least its better than becoming a 419 or a government tiff!

  14. well if what i hear is true, this man will earn N12m in 2 years and will have a truck of his own to run. to me thid is much better then sitting down doing nothing than writing comments on this blog

  15. The write up says he was jobless before he applied. So ladun, y does ur headline say he left banking job for driving?

    Please try to read and understand your stories before giving them ridiculous/false headlines.

  16. Obviously DANGOTE did not leave his banking job to become a truck driver.

  17. " Anonymous said...
    well if what i hear is true, this man will earn N12m in 2 years and will have a truck of his own to run. to me thid is much better then sitting down doing nothing than writing comments on this blog

    11 November, 2012 20:56"

    I love this comment... Make una dey dere dey dull.. some of u commenting on this blog post wouldn't earn N32m (N12m cash + N20m truck) worth of cash or assets in the next 2, 3 or even 10 years..

    This is Naija where the hustle to make it takes many forms, u beta get down from ur high horse and enter ur own unique hustle mode

  18. @str8frmdahips..said amount of good driving would make good those death traps called roads in 9ja..first oil tankers need a seperate lane or travel@off peak hours!!..9ja always massaging the issues never facing it head on!!

  19. pls how much are they paying them for them to leave their jobs and become drivers..anywaz since there are no jobs, anything goes

  20. If u can encourage ur fellow human being plsss just kip ur hands n ur pocket instead of typing disgusting comment, all u knw 2 do s 2 abuse nd am very sure some of u ar useless, dat has no future... ADEPEJU Ayaaba nd Princessa u ar not making sense @ all nd 2 other nuisance like u.. dont comment s not byforce go nd luk 4 sumting 2 do, if u ar too less busy... Mr PONDER God will soon take u 2 ur promise land.. AMEN

  21. Monday, 12 November 2012 07:59
    Revolution coming, Obasanjo says'...the danger ahead is real and potent'
    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
    Former President Olusegun
    Obasanjo has expressed fears that
    Nigeria will witness a revolution
    soon unless government takes
    urgent steps to check growing
    youth unemployment and poverty.
    Speaking at the West African
    regional conference on youth
    employment in Dakar, Senegal at
    the weekend, Obasanjo said the
    danger posed by an army of
    unemployed youth in Nigeria can
    only be imagined.
    "I'm afraid, and you know I am a
    General. When a General says he is
    afraid, that means the danger
    ahead is real and potent," he said.
    Obasanjo added that despite what
    he called the imminent threat to
    Nigeria's nationhood "there is
    absence of serious, concrete,
    realistic, short and long term
    solution" to youth unemployment.
    He made reference to the
    doctorate degree holders who
    applied for jobs as drivers at the
    Dangote Group, saying Nigerian
    youths have been patient enough
    and that this patience will soon
    reach its elastic limit.
    According to the former president,
    youth unemployment rate which
    was 72 per cent in 1999 when he
    took over power had been
    reduced to 52 per cent by 2004
    but that the rate rocketed to 71
    per cent by 2011.
    Obasanjo left office in 2007,
    succeeded by Umaru Yar'Adua
    who died in 2010, and President
    Jonathan has been in office since
    The former president lamented
    that the unemployment situation
    had given rise to the prevalence of
    social crimes being perpetrated by
    three categories of youth whom
    he identified as area boys, Yahoo
    boys and, recently, Blackberry
    He told the diverse audience that
    in Nigeria people talk of growth
    without corresponding
    development, and that what is
    visible is increased poverty....He said all this and many more. My pple where are we going!!!

  22. Like ur spirit bro.dis is why some countries areleading us.we are gud hard working ...every tn in life is not all about destiny.try one tin at a tym.god bless nigeria

  23. you can never blame a man for taking a particular kind of job. be it frustration , or whatever you call it, the fact remains that he can feed himself......Harrison

  24. Hats off to u man i mean you left your bank job and became a truck driver, like your guts great man.