Economic Solutions For Reducing Unemployment in Nigeria
Nigeria is undoubtedly one of the most powerful nations in Africa, in terms of wealth, military, resources and economic prosperity. However, despite the perceived economic prosperity on paper, Nigeria has somehow – ironically – found herself at the rock bottom of the prosperity scale. This has resulted in widespread poverty. And the most notorious factor, in this case, is the rampaging UNEMPLOYMENT. Therefore, in an attempt to mitigate the effects of unemployment in Nigeria, we are going to be enlightening you on the various economic solutions to reduce unemployment.
Facts About Unemployment In Nigeria
Unemployment has been one of the most notorious economic malaises blighting the growth of Nigeria since independence. And every administration has had its fair share of blame, albeit at varying scales – some more than others.
Since the turn of the 21st century (2000 to date), the past three years have been, by a long stretch, the worst in terms of unemployment. As gathered from several sources, over 8 million working class Nigerian citizens have lost their jobs since 2015 to date. While this figure might be a bit exaggerated, it is obviously not far from reality.
In light of this, at the risk of sounding partisan, all indices point to the fact that this administration has, so far, been the worst (compared to the past administrations) in terms of job creation/employment opportunities and job security among others.
To be practical, let us take a look at some of the recent unemployment statistics in Nigeria, as collated, analyzed and released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Towards the end of last year (2018), the total unemployment rate of Nigeria was pegged at 23.1%, while youth unemployment rate was estimated at 38%. What the latter means is that, about 40% of the working population is currently unemployed. Furthermore, the larger percentage of the so-called employed are actually underemployed.
Not too digress further, let us look at the various economic solutions to reduce unemployment in Nigeria.
Economic Solutions to Unemployment
The issue of unemployment has done irreparable damage to the psyche and confidence of an average Nigerian youth; hence, to the tackle unemployment head-on is no easy task. This would require a positive synergy from every quarter of the nation (public sector, private sector and the general public), spearheaded by the Federal Government, towards improving the economic situation on ground; not just on paper but in actual reality.
While the Nigerian private sector has enjoyed significant success over the past one and half decade, the government-marshalled public sector has deteriorated significant. As such, to reduce unemployment, the larger buck lies at the feet of the FGN – Federal Government of Nigeria.
If (and when) the Nigerian government is ready to put an end to the spate of unemployment, or at least, reduce it to the barest minimum, other key elements would automatically fall in line.
How to Reduce Unemployment in Nigeria
In order to reduce unemployment to as low as possible, certain economic policies, infrastructure and labour laws among others need to be put in place. Some of these have been summarized in the outlined below:
- Provision of a business-oriented environment.
- Strong labour law (against unlawful dismissal, especially in the private sector).
- Injection of entrepreneurship study into tertiary institutions’ curriculums.
- Improvement in the quality of education at the tertiary, secondary and primary levels.
- Liberal tax policy; to encourage foreign and local investments.
- Diversification of the economy.
- Fair recruitment process, especially in the public sector.
- Weeding out of ghost workers in the public service
- Provision of basic infrastructure – stable electricity, road network and the likes.
- And more
In essence, by creating an enabling environment, where economic activities thrive, the issue of unemployment would eventually wane itself off.
How To Reduce Unemployment In Nigeria
Reducing employment, as stated earlier, is no easy task. In fact, in Nigeria, it is not an issue that can be solved overnight. Nevertheless, there are different angles from which unemployment can be reduced in Nigeria. These angles (solutions) vary, depending on the resources (financial, manpower and skills) at hand.
So, for youths, especially unemployed or underemployed graduates, there are various ways you can become employed, without necessarily waiting on the Nigerian government, who are obviously insensitive to your plights.
The solutions, herein, are aimed at gearing you towards becoming self-employed, and in the short or long run, you can become an employer of labour yourself
Below is a summary of some of these solutions:
The FGN has been hammering on this sector, as the ultimate solution to unemployment in Nigeria. Although agriculture remains the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, most people do it at the subsistence (micro) scale. Nevertheless, virtually everyone involved in agriculture at the commercial level are reaping substantial benefits from it.
Hence, if you are unemployed or underemployed, commercial agriculture (farming, fish farming, poultry, and so on) is one of the best employment options available to you.
This is another notable, yet overlooked, solution to the spate of unemployment in Nigeria. In fact, setting up a business is a very potent solution to reducing unemployment, as every new business, if properly managed, would create more jobs in the long run.
Many people have blamed the perceived lack of tangible skills among the teeming unemployed population, especially among the youths, as the most notorious cause of unemployment in Nigeria. So, if you are unemployed, you might want to acquire a relevant skill today.
There are innumerable skills out there; hence, it is better you choose the one that best suit your needs and desires. Plainly put, learn a skill you have interest in.
Stay Informed & Apply for Jobs
As ironic as it sounds, certain people expect jobs to be brought to them, without looking out for vacancies. As the popular saying goes, “information is power”, and as an unemployed graduate, staying informed is usually the fine line between getting employed and staying unemployed.
Therefore, ensure you visit job sites regularly, and apply for job posts that fit your educational background, skills, experience and interest.
HTTP Solution to Unemployment
HTTP is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it is the standard identity for all web-based elements. Hence, in this section of the article, we will be looking at the “internet solution to unemployment” i.e. how to use the internet to reduce unemployment.
How To Use The Internet To Reduce Unemployment In Nigeria
The internet is a virtual space that connects every location on earth. It has bridged the gap between countries and has made the process of doing business a lot easier. While there is an alarming rise in cyber fraud (indigenously tagged yahoo yahoo), there is a myriad of legitimate businesses online, and a good number of Nigerians are actively involved in it.
Online business has grown significantly over the past decade, and with the look of it, it might just be the ultimate solution to the menace of unemployment in Nigeria. To buttress this assertion, a good number of Nigerians have became highly successful via the “HTTP solution”. Notable mentions, in this regard, include Linda Ikeji (owner of Linda Ikeji Blog & Linda Ikeji TV), Seun Osewa (owner of Nairaland) and many more.
In similar vein, the internet is now a global market, where people buy, sell, offer services, exchange money and do every other kind of business. However, like any kind of business or job, a certain type (and level) of skill is required to become successful. Notable skills, in this regard, include writing, web development, coding, graphic designing and many more.
In summary, below is a list of some booming online/internet engagements, which you can engage in (as an unemployed or underemployed individual):
- Freelance Writing
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media Analyst
- Web Development
- Graphic Designing
- Freelance Programming/coding
- Audio Transcriber
- Freelance Video Editor
- And many more
Causes of Unemployment In Nigeria and Solutions
Unemployment is basically caused by insufficient jobs. However, there are innumerable underlying factors responsible for this. In Nigeria, the most notorious factor is no other than CORRUPTION, which is widely believed to be the number one impediment to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Below is a summary of some of the causes of unemployment in Nigeria:
- Mismanagement of public funds
- Mismanagement of mineral and human resources
- Poor educational structure
- Tribalism and religious sentiments
- Insensitivity on the part of the government
- Outdated economic policies
- Widespread corruption in the public and private sectors
- Lack of relevant skills (among the unemployed population)
- And more
Effects of Unemployment in Nigeria
Unemployment, though grammatically different, is technically the same as underemployment. The two conjoined economic malaises have done significant damage to the confidence of most Nigerian youths. However, the most notable effects are the increase in crime rate and the meteoric rise in poverty.
Of these two effects, poverty is obviously the most significant. In fact, there is a linear relationship between unemployment and poverty i.e. increase in unemployment directly results to increase in poverty. This is a typical case of the unemployment-poverty situation in Nigeria today, as evident in the past 3 years.
Today, with an upsurging unemployment rate, Nigeria has risen to the very top of the global poverty log. We are now officially (according to the UN) the poverty capital of world, with over 80 million Nigerians wallowing in abject poverty. Shameful!
Other noteworthy effects of unemployment in Nigeria include:
- Rise in terrorism; as evident in the North Eastern region of Nigeria (the most impoverished region in the country).
- Increase in crime: internet fraud, armed robbery, prostitution and so on.
- Political & economic Instability
- Increase in rural – urban migration
- Resource degradation
- Civil unrest (Hooliganism)
- And more
Challenges of Unemployment in Nigeria
Unemployment is one of the major challenges facing Nigeria, and the problem did not just start today. The issue of unemployment has held Nigeria back intellectually, materially and even economically (financially). As such, we need to face this challenge head-on, and solve the problem once and for all.
As patriotic Nigerian citizens, the call for a state of emergency on the issue unemployment in Nigeria should be of paramount importance. And we hope, sooner rather than later, this rampaging “malaise” would be put to a stop, so as to set the country on an upward trajectory, and propel her to the top of the African continent, where it really belongs.
Hope you find this article helpful?.
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