The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is becoming a serious menace which needs to be urgently addressed by the stakeholders. Many people are getting frustrated with the widespread joblessness as unemployment is better described as a disease that it’s cure is yet to be discovered. According to the official statistics, 24 per cent of able-bodied Nigerians are unemployed. The youth are greatly affected as larger percentage of the unemployed Nigerians are the youth. World Bank estimates this number to be close to 80 per cent.
It will be recalled that about 16 people lost their lives in a stampede when over 500,000 job seekers sat for examination meant for less than 5000 vacancies of the Nigerian Immigration Service in March 2014. Students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria often graduate annually into the already saturated job market in the country. However, the matter became worse as many Nigerian graduates did not acquire any entrepreneurial skills that could be of any help in the event that they could not find a white collar job after graduation. Some of the university graduates lack the necessary skills that would have assisted them to secure a good job as their performances at interviews are a clear demonstration of such deficiencies. Thus, encouraging skills acquisition will go along a long way in solving Nigeria’s unemployment challenges. Government and private individuals equally have a role to play in reducing this menace to the minimum. This could be achieved through self discovery and by embracing the opportunities available through internet facilities such as application and Web design, online publications, to mention but a few. Young people should not wait for good things to come their way but should rather take the bold step of individual initiative which will improve their lives positively. Nigerian government and elites should also strive to encourage the youth who are tomorrow’s leaders to learn how to be self sustaining and contribute positively to national growth and development. The future of Nigeria without active participation of the youth will be meaningless.
•Taiwo Kemi Ruth,
Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State.