Peters Chike holds degrees in Banking and Finance, and Business Management respectively. He currently works at Social Development Secretariat (Federal Capital Territory, Abuja), formerly known as Arts and Culture.
Employed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) with six areas under its control, Peters started working with the Water Board sector after a long journey finding greener pastures.
Interview with Peters Chike
For 7 years working here, Do you enjoy what you do?
Is there any alternative? After NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) in Kogi State, I traveled to Abuja where I joined the Civil Defence. During that time in 1995, you can get into Civil Defence as a volunteer. They were paying us ₦1800.00. I was a bachelor and squatting with my brother to feed me.
With Civil Defence, the money wasn’t a thing to write home about, so I started looking for a greener pasture. Trying everything, I got a hotel job employed as an Internal Auditor. From there, I rose to General Manager. Much later, I worked with quite a number of hotels. But due to challenges and query with hotel owners, I left the hotel industry in 2006. And that’s how I got here some years later. Though I’ve been making moves to work here before I left.
Things were difficult when I was a victim of an accident which affected my brain. After work, I stopped by to get some things for home when a car ran into me. I was taken to countless hospitals. I wasn’t communicating effectively.
Working experience here is great but also challenging as a salary earner. Before the month ends, you’re out there taking loans. And when you get paid, it goes all back.
How long did it take for your brain to recover?
It took 2 years.
Considering the harsh economy, how are you coping with family?
It has been the salary and taking loans. While I was hospitalized, the bills were taken care of. Let’s say 60% of it. It wasn’t just my brain. My legs were affected. I haven’t been walking normal ever since. I’m glad to tell the story. I’m happy that I’m alive. Nobody knew I would survive it.
Growing up in those days, what was school like?
We had big dreams and high hopes. I studied Banking and Finance for a first degree, and Business Management for a second. But when we got out, we met reality. I wanted to work in a bank. It’s a crazy economy with less employment now. I used to walk from Area 1 to Maitama taking short cuts too. That’s in 1996 to 1997. I was a fresh graduate then.
How would you compare today’s economy to back then?
What’s the clear difference with today’s economy? If not that 7Up’s logo has changed. As at then, I think a dollar was around ₦70 or there about. Working as a Civil Defence volunteer, even though I wasn’t married, I still have to send something to my family.
What future do you see from here?
The rate of the country taking international loans would probably put us in slavery. But I believe with the youth clamouring for a positive change, things may equally change for good.
Thank you for speaking to us, Mr Peters Chike 🙂
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.