One of the challenges facing Nigeria is soaring unemployment rate occasioned by dwindling gross domestic product, which is a direct consequence of Nigerian mono-economy; currently running as crude-oil economy. Against this circumstance, this presentation seeks to provide Nigerian solutions to the Nigerian problem under consideration.
It is evident that unemployment has increased the crime wave and the induced problems such as kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution, cultism, pro-secessionist movements and among others.
In view of the obvious consequences of unemployment, pragmatic actions must be taken in order to save the country from being consumed by the crisis.
Aggravating Factors of Unemployment in Nigeria
In offering solutions to problems of unemployment, it is necessary to summarise the variables of unemployment, which include: rural-urban migration, rapid population growth, corruption, outdated school curriculum, leadership/managerial problems, poverty, lack of employable skills, increase in supply of educated manpower and lack of adequate youth development programs.
Although unemployment is a global problem but, it is a more critical problem in developing economies such as Nigeria. It is alarming that thousands of youths graduate from both secondary and tertiary institutions annually without proportional employment opportunity either in the public service or in the private driven organizations. To get out of the dungeon of unemployment, the best solutions to be considered by Nigeria government and stakeholders should include:
enabling business environment, entrepreneurship, agribusiness, population control and restructured education system.
No government is the main employer of labour; the private sector is! Sadly, the private sector of any economy cannot thrive without the adequate enablement from the government whose responsibility it is to create a conducive environment for private enterprise to thrive. Therefore, Nigeria Government must play its constitutional role by creating enabling socio-economic and political environment including the provision of economic infrastructure to make industrial climate investment friendly. This will encourage investors to invest and thereby creating jobs in order to absorb the unemployed youths.
While Nigeria has continued to heavily rely on revenue accruing from oil sale, a key hidden treasure greatly untapped by the Nigerian populace is agriculture. It is perhaps the oldest and one of the most profitable economic sectors – capable of accommodating millions of educated and uneducated Nigerians.
Though Nigeria governments at all levels have been investing in agriculture since 2011, they should invest more. Governments could help by investing in dedicated training centers where young people can get training and education to hone their farming skills. They can also help by providing infrastructural facilities (good roads, electricity) for agribusiness expansion, offering affordable credit services, subdising farm inputs and educating young farmers on post harvest management and marketing.
Governments should also adopt better agricultural policies by scaling up public investments in agriculture and honor the MAPUTO 2003 Agreement which mandates them to commit 10 percent of national budgets on effective agriculture investments.
With these in place, financial institutions will have the more confidence to give out loans to help young farmers in building their business and consequently this will boost agribusiness, increase productivity and profits, create more jobs, and help lift millions of Nigerians out of extreme poverty.
Entrepreneurship is dependent on a number of factors namely; availability of resources, relevant enterprising skills and the entrepreneurship mindset needed to launch one into business enterprise; without the application of entrepreneurship models, it may be difficult for stakeholders to understand how the utility of resource abundance (natural, material and human) in Nigeria can help create job and wealth.
Optimum population will help solve our unemployment problems because it will bring our population to equilibrium point with our resources.
Restructuring Our Educational System
Pre-vocational courses like mechanics, electronics, woodwork, metal work etc should be taught; these will make our educational products to be job creators instead of job seekers.
If Nigeria government take appropriate steps in implementing this policies, the country will not only solve the its problem of mass unemployment but soon it will become among the fastest growing economy in Africa.
—Com. Onilede Solomon Limo is the Global President of LAUTECH Alumni Association