Tackling the high rate of unemploymentHide quoted text


It is a fact that Nigeria is among the countries with the highest level of unemployment in Africa, where youths are roaming the streets looking for jobs.

According to recent statistics, there are 25 million unemployed graduates in the country. This has, however, shown that there is a need for graduates to invest in entrepreneurship because the government cannot provide job opportunities to our teeming youths.

Nonetheless, why do youths find it hard to have decent job these days? Why is there massive increase in internet fraud? Why does a graduate have to go years without employment even when he has all the needed requirements? Do these questions ring a bell? Gone are the days when “the future is in the hands of the youths” sounds believable. Now, it’s a clichè.

No doubt, the Nigerian government did not put in place a system that will accommodate youths after they graduate from various tertiary institutions. Also, it is a fact that Nigerian universities and polytechnics produce thousands of graduates annually which triple the available employment opportunities in the country.

Consequently, the high population of energetic youths ranging from 22-to 35 years old, will pose a great threat to the country rather than boost manpower that the country can leverage to develop its economy.

Furthermore, new mass employment schemes such as the N-power, Nigerian Youth Empowerment Action Plan (NIYEAP), the special public works (SPW) programmes are initiated almost annually but to what end? Some of these jobs barely pay the minimum wage in Nigeria which currently stands at $72 per month.

Now with the extension of the years in service for civil servants from 35 to 40 years and the increment in the age of retirement from 60 to 65 years, it makes it an almost hopeless venture to depend on the government to provide jobs for the youths when government positions are still occupied by sons and daughters of the elite. There’s a need for vacancies to employ youths and harness their potential, unfortunately, no one is willing to give up their space.

To curb the upsurge of the massive unemployment rate, the youths need to wake up and source other ways of financial freedom such as entrepreneurship to stay afloat from this sinking ship. This way, youths would free themselves from the bondage of the crippling crises of unemployment swarming our dear country.

Mustapha Muhammad,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri

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