Undoubtedly, Nigeria has been wallowing in the shackles of unemployment, thus sizeable and aggregate citizens of Nigeria are unemployed and jobless, they keep moving around the streets with their certificates and talents yet no employment opportunities. This fact does not in any way need a statistical analysis to be proved authentic as mere observation will tell that most Nigerians are unemployed, but to make this piece of writing more empirical and scientific, reference shall be made to substantiate this argument or opinion.
It is shameful to think of, a country with arable lands, natural resources; good climatic conditions still tackle the menace of joblessness among its citizens. How far has Nigeria gone to observe some other countries in the world without adequate natural resources as Nigeria do but they provide the basic needs of their citizens with employment inclusive? In the United States of America and the host of others, when you are enrolled into an institution you are equally given the opportunity to work in order to earn a living, this is because there are adequate jobs provided for their citizens there, unlike Nigeria, where students suffer and face difficulties just to raise their school fees. It is about time we concentrate on this area in Nigeria, the number of those that are gainfully employed in Nigeria today is scanty, In fact those that are employed are given penny that will only sustain them for a very short period of time, cater for their transport fare and feedings alone, and thereby deterring them from attending to all other affairs of theirs’ that involve money. While some people are earning billions of naira per month, others cannot raise a thousand naira per day.
People here and there have been frustrated to commit suicide, join robbery squad and engage in rituals due to the problems posed by lack of funds via Unemployment. Unemployment is a social malaise, it prevents a country from growing higher by depreciating the value of tax to be collected per annum, for it is only those who are gainfully employed that will be triggered to pay tax from what they earn, how about those who are jobless? and unfortunately taxation goes a long way in helping the government to provide basic amenities in the state, when a large proportion of people are not paying tax due to the fact that they are jobless, who will be at the loosing end? hence, It hinders the progress of the state. On this basis therefore, Unemployment threatens the development of the society, thus it is a social problem.
The question now is what is unemployment? Why are people unemployed? What is the yardstick of measuring unemployment in the society? With special reference to Nigeria. To a lay man, Unemployment is the state of not being employed but in a more comprehensive approach, It is the situation whereby individuals who are of the working age class are not able to get a gainful employment opportunity, on the same vein, individuals who are already employed but the salary or wages given to them is not capable of catering for their needs are said to be underemployed which is also a brother to unemployment.
According to Investopedia, Unemployment is a phenomenon that occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work; the above definitions suggest three key factors before a person could be seen as unemployed,
-Active search for job.
-Within the working age.
-A specific period of time.
The aforementioned factors are the yardsticks for measuring unemployment status of an individual, when one is actively searching for job, of the working age, within a specific period usually less than a year, and he or she is unable to find one, then he is unemployed. It has appeared in the case of Nigeria that many youths and adults are unable to find a paid job and therefore they walk around the streets as idlers. On the contrary, some god fathers and politicians are there gaining millions per month doing nothing but to sit in their various offices and think of how to exploit the people instead of exploring the country which is their primary assignment. Every Nigerian whether educated or not educated is entitled to a well paid job to be provided by the government, but unfortunately, our government instead to venture on providing employment opportunities are busy with other things that are detrimental to the progress of the country.
According to Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s unemployment rate has risen from 13.3 per cent in the 2nd quarter to 13.9 per cent in the 3rd quarter of 2016. This is contained in the Unemployment/Under-employment Report for 3rd Quarter of 2016. The report stated that the number of unemployed in the labour force increased by 555,311 persons.
According to the report, the underemployment rate rose from 19.3 per cent in second quarter to 19.7 per cent in the third quarter.
The report said that unemployment covered persons (aged 15–64) who during the reference period were currently available for work, actively seeking for work but were without work.
Underemployment, however, occurs when a person works less than full time hours, which is 40 hours, but work at least 20 hours on average a week.
It explained that underemployment could also happen if a person works full time but are engaged in an activity that under-utilizes his skills, time and educational qualifications. The report, however, stated that the economically active population or working age population (persons within ages 15 and 64) increased from 106.69 million in second quarter to 108.03 million in the third quarter. “This represents a 1.26 per cent increase over the previous quarter and a 3.57 per cent increase when compared to the third quarter 2015.’’
In 3rd quarter, the labour force population (i.e those within the working age population willing, able and actively looking for work) increased to 80.67 million from 79.9 million in second quarter. “This represents an increase of 0.98 per cent in the labour force during the quarter.(Vanguard, Nigeria “Nigeria’s unemployment rate rises to 13. 9 % – NBS”). The unemployment rate keeps increasing year by year, this is not expected of a serious government which has the people’s welfarism as its priority, the consequential effects of unemployment is very bad, In fact it has generated a lot of criminals and robbers in our society.
Most of the robbers caught are found unemployed, the most tragedy part is that graduates are also found in this unruly operations because they are not gainfully employed, this suggests that it is not only the illiterates that are unemployed but also the literate fellows. Not quite long, Dangote Industry was in need of drivers, surprisingly those who applied for this post include degree holders, In short, Nigeria’s case of unemployment is nothing to write home about.
The government is doing nothing to tackle the issue of unemployment in Nigeria, many Structural Adjustment Programmes have been initiated but proved futile because those handling this programmes took it as a medium of enriching their pockets instead of that of the general masses. Some are given clippers, grinding machines and lots more that will not last for months due to the fact that they are counterfeit, Is this all we can get from our government in ameliorating and mitigating unemployment in Nigeria?, It is sad to hear that, the present administration aims at giving #5000 to our youths who are unemployed, this makes me laugh in French, how many people will this reach, if it were to reach some, what will they benefit from it?, instead of creating industries that will boost the country’s economy and in turn serve as employment opportunity to the general public, frivolities are given preference.
Unemployment has been traced as the causative agents of enormous crime acts, hence if there could be reduction in the rate of unemployment invariably there will be reduction in crime rate, If I have gone to my workplace throughout the day, how will I gain the strength to steal at night, thus the idle hand is the devil’s workshop It has appeared that the government are not in any way willing to help the youths in getting employed, or is it the #5000 given to them that will solve or eradicate unemployment? Interestingly, the ball is in our courts, we got the potentials, ability and all it takes to be gainfully employed and even become employer; this is possible when we make up our minds not to give a damn to government employment opportunities again, but rather creating employment ourselves. Most of the affluent people in the world today created job themselves and they did not wait for the so called government to provide for them, it’s in you, create a job today, how you brand and package it matters a lot.
Secondly, People have seen Western education as very important than any other thing, thus if you are not educated you can’t make it in life, this is a wrong orientation, we have seen many graduates out there roaming about the streets baselessly, and those on top the country’s economy are more or less uneducated in the Western type, with your skill and talent you can become someone important in life and build something beneficial to the society. Nevertheless, Western Education is also important but does not determine the successfulness of an individual.
In conclusion, if the government after pleading to them are not willing to do better things to help reduce the unemployment rates, the youths and every other citizen are very much ready to create something new in the society and thereby generating employment in Nigeria. Our government spends on things of less importance forgetting the welfarism of citizens as promised in their various manifestos.
Abdulganiy Abdullah O
Director, Social World