Over the year, unemployment has been one of the major issues affecting Nigeria for decades now. Unemployment is a situation whereby persons who are capable and willing to work are unable to find suitable jobs or employment opportunities. Unemployment today is one of the major problems of the country because, it has led to the existence of social vices such as; insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, and other vicious acts.
In the country today, most of the sectors are ineffective and cannot help reduce the rate of unemployment and this has lured the youth to engage in criminal activities.
In 2012, Nigeria’s population was said to have reached about 167 million according to The National Bureau of Statistics. The National Population Commission (NPC) 2013 states; about half of the population is made up of youth that is, individuals between 15 and 34 years of age. Regrettably, as the population of youths grows, so does the rate of unemployment. In 2012, the numbers of unemployed youth were about 11.1 million.
In the third quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate grew by 4% from 23.1. In the second quarter of In In 2020, Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to a record 27.1% in the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics. It shows that 21, 764, 617 Nigerians were unemployed as of 2020.
In 2022 according to the Youth Employment Rates also released by The National Bureau of Statistics, 53 percent of 151 million Nigerian youths, over 80 million are unemployed. Among the unemployed youths, in terms of educational past, some of them were not privileged to get a sound education due to lack of funds. Most of these youths were found in rural areas.
Graduates of tertiary institutions are not left out of this, they are also affected by unemployment. Every graduate after a tertiary institution expects to secure a well-paying but in Nigeria today, the labor sector has proven otherwise. There is no meaningful job anywhere after the completion of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC). Gone are those when the youths would be offered employment immediately after NYSC, by different organizations.
Amidst all, there are various factors responsible for unemployment, one of which is Corruption. The rate of unemployment in the country today is attributed to corruption. In Nigeria today, before an unemployed person can get a job (white collar) whether in private or government offices, he or she must have a connection either through the government if the person wants to become a civil servant, or personal connections. Those underprivileged people who are left without connections to the government or private individuals are left to roam the streets. Imagine a person who graduated from the University of Lagos, after studying Engineering with a 4.75 CGPA and is seen working as a mechanic because he doesn’t have the right connection to help him get a better job.
Poor resource management is also another cause of unemployment in the country today. It is a situation that prevents the government from making a decision and executing well-planned strategies, creating an inefficient and unstable society, state, and country. This is caused when the government does not plan every budget well and ends up using it for other things.
Poor Agricultural system is not left out, graduates in Nigeria do not consider the agricultural sector as an area where they can get employment because it is still underdeveloped and unattractive. They believe that the agricultural sector does not yield enough money and would rather look for white-collar jobs because they believe that would pay well.
Among these causes, another is the lack of government support for entrepreneurship and skill acquisition. The government for a very long time has not made a full and adequate move in creating programs that helps in skill acquisition for the people and also educate the youths on entrepreneurship.
However, there is a saying that every disease has it own cure, likewise every problem has it solution. Fortunately, the unemployment situation in Nigeria is not without solution. One of the ways or solution to the problem of unemployment is through Population control. The growth of the population should be checked in order to solve unemployment situation. It was stated at the beginning of that as the number of youths increase, so does the rate of unemployment. Family planning programs should be implemented widely and effectively.
Entrepreneurship is an important solution to the problem of unemployment in Nigeria and round the world. By creating new businesses and job opportunities, entrepreneur can help reduce unemployment and drive economic growth and development.
The government should also make an effort in management of resources ad also make right choices in allocating this resources. Through proper allocation of this resources to sectors in need of them, sectors that can help improve the economy, unemployment can at least be reduced.
Solving the issue of unemployment in the country, also comes with a benefit, and what are the benefits? It helps in the reduction of social vices carried out by the unemployed youth, it also would reduce insecurities in the country. That leaves me to say that “Unemployment Is a Problem, Solutions Exist”.
Okolie Dumkenechukwu Benita, 100-level Law student, Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Delta State University, Abraka, Oleh Campus.