… Job Creation
AS Nigeria prepares for the long-awaited change in administration, tackling and addressing the menace of unemployment through conscious effort of job creation for the army of unemployed youths in the country is one of the greatest challenges and assignment for the incoming government that demands urgency and should be the top priority of the new administration. The fact remains that the ever-increasing unemployment rate in Nigeria is key among the various factors responsible for high rate of insecurity, armed robbery, banditry, ritual killings, cultism, internet frauds also known as Yahoo Yahoo and other social vices .
THIS gives credence to the fact that a nation’s inability to engage a large proportion of her youth meaningfully through job creation has the potential for social dislocation. The dire unemployment situation many graduates and those with advanced education in the country face is a cause for concern. Report on the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan 2021-24 of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, published in August 2021, confirms that, “as of 2020 (Q2), youth unemployment (15-34 years old) stood at 35 percent. A further 28 percent of young people in the labour force were considered underemployed (working 20-39 hours a week) and 37 percent were working full time (40 or more hours per week).”
ACCORDING to another report credited to Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG), the Nigerian unemployment rate increased to 37.7 per cent in 2022. the firm further predicted that unemployment would doubtlessly continue to be a major challenge in 2023, owing to limited investment by the private sector, low industrialization, dwindling economic growth and the inability of the economy to absorb the about five million new entrants into the Nigerian job market every year. Although the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recorded an increase in the national unemployment rate from 23.1 per cent in 2018 to 33.3 percent in 2020, report from KPMG showed that this rate increased to 37.7 per cent in 2022 and will rise further to 40.6 percent in 2023.
ALL these attest to the fact that the incoming administration will face a deeply rooted challenging environment, characterized by fragile slow economic growth and challenges in the foreign exchange market. In the face of all these, no doubt, the only alternative for the incoming administration is to be proactive and take the bull by the horn by making conscious effort towards job creation. Tech hubs, injection of technology into agricultural value chain and better investment in climate are, therefore, good ways to go, as this will lead to creation of jobs for the teeming youths.
WHILE we acknowledge the efforts of the outgoing administration in job creation, we call on the incoming Tinubu/Shetima’s administration to look away from whatever success the Mohamadu Buhari’s administration might have claimed in the aspect of job creation and be deliberate about surpassing the outgoing administration. An idle hand, they say, is the devil’s workshop. It is our strong belief that the numerous social vices bedeviling our nation would become a thing of the past if the teeming youths could be gainfully employed.
IN doing this, we suggest that government should create a business-friendly atmosphere in Nigeria. Government, not only at the center but in all levels, should create opportunities and a good environment for investment. Creating a business-friendly environment will imply that government should proffer a lasting solution to the menace of epileptic power supply in the country. The menace of insecurity must as well be confronted and laid to rest if businesses will thrive in Nigeria.
THE truth remains that several foreign investors are willing to bring their investments to Nigeria and are willing to create thousands of jobs for the teeming jobless population, but they are skeptical about what the outcome would look like, most especially with the degenerating insecurity in the nation and the instability of power among many other challenges bedeviling and threatening our existence as a nation. If all these challenges are addressed, not only will foreign investors be willing to bring their businesses to Nigeria, but Nigerians in the diaspora will as well be willing to bring their money home for investments.
WE also recommend that the incoming administration should give more encouragement to vocational education, as this would make graduates from any of the tertiary institutions in the country to be self-reliant, without having to hunt after white collar jobs. Moreover, rather than establishing new industries, the incoming administration should focus on the resuscitation of moribund industries in the country, most especially refineries across the nation and the Ajaokuta Steel Company, among others. If these industries are back in their rightful shapes, several Nigerians would be taken off the streets and would be able to put food on the table for their families.
THE fact remains that government cannot do it alone, youths and young people should as well embark on personal self-development and venture into endeavors that will be of benefit to their career advancement, rather than constituting a burden to the government.
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