UNEMPLOYMENT: Teary Eyes in Search of White Collar Jobs

Unemployment: Teary Eyes in Search of White Collar Jobs

Considering an estimated over 25 million unemployed youths in Nigeria which is about 25 per cent of the 100 million youth population; a group representing the larger part of the country’s overall population according to the National Bureau of statistics.

This alarming situation is detrimental to national security and economic advancement as the leaders of tomorrow who are supposed to be in charge; handling bigger responsibilities and using their training to proffer solutions to the many issues affecting different sectors of the nation’s economy are in tears searching for white collar jobs and also getting involved in other nefarious acts due to idleness.

Though most employers of labour claimed that the increase in the rate of unemployment is because most Nigeria graduates are unemployable, but I imagine if the saying really is the truth or a mere statement distracting the populace from the reality of the unavailability of jobs and the steady increase in the number of unemployed graduates?

Youth unemployment remains a major challenge and concern to the Nigeria government for years now as several administrations have tried tackling the menace but all to no avail.

Sadly, the Nigeria education system and tertiary institutions continue to prepare graduates for employment in an over-populated labour market considering that most organisations are cutting on their staff strengths while the concept of self employment and entrepreneurship stayed in obscurity.

Although most tertiary institutions are gradually embracing entrepreneurial skills development as it’s now been introduced as a compulsory course in major tertiary institutions across the country; a feat aimed at tackling the problem of unemployment among graduates.

The unemployment situation is increasing as each day passes by; thousands of graduates are being churned out from tertiary institutions yearly to further populate the “jobless graduates’ club” already waiting on employment queue with no job in sight, only perambulating streets of major industrial areas with teary eyes searching for means of livelihood. A situation I strongly blame on thoughtlessly, bad governance and poor leadership.

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity said more than 41% of Nigerian graduates are without employment after the compulsory National Youth Service Corps scheme. While the World Bank puts the figure at 56%. It’s indeed a troubling situation as these figures pose serious threat to the economic growth and development of the largest African nation.

The former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration introduced “The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN)” initiative geared towards youth entrepreneurship in conjunction with the Ministry of Communication and Technology, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Youth Development and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

The YOUWIN initiative was supposed to help in creating jobs by supporting creative and enterprising youths to implement brilliant business ideas for job creation. It was envisaged that between 80,000 to 320,000 new jobs will be created at cost of N10 billion. It eventually turned out to be a mirage.

Unfortunately, that was a measure only trying to tackle unemployment problem from its branches and not root.

In wiping the tears caused by unemployment off the faces of Nigerian youth, the government should engage in targeted project with the sole objective of job creation. For instance, government can liaise with corporate entities cutting across all works of life by making available special stimulus packages that will help them expand their businesses and provide employment to qualified youths, in several areas such as agriculture, mining, refineries, environmental sanitation and others, all of these possess the potential of creating millions of jobs.

According to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama who said that American youth needs education that will make them possess 21st century skills like critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills and creativity.

Therefore, in proffering solution to the menace of joblessness in Nigeria there must be an overhauling of the education system and a review of schools’ curriculum from elementary to tertiary; because the obvious occurrences make the existing system of attending school in order to be employed after graduation no longer in vogue.

In conclusion, it’s imperative that Nigeria government should embark on massive employment so as to engage its youths because a nation that pays no attention to the development of its youth will be stranded at the juncture of infrastructure and economic development.

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