By; RALPH DAVID
Nigeria, which is the biggest black nation in the world, ought to have a very strong economy capable of employing almost all employable citizens.
But unfortunately, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is alarming as a result of said; Epileptic Electric Power Supply, Talking of how lack of electricity has caused unemployment in Nigeria, the matter is multi-faceted.
Many foreign companies that would have come to invest in this country (considering the big marketing vista in Nigeria) and which would have provided many employment opportunities to Nigerians to reduce unemployment, have changed direction to other neighbouring countries with constant electricity supply in order to avoid operating at loss with 24-hours running of generators (which) is now becoming the tradition in Nigeria.
The same problem has affected many local companies which could not cope with the high cost of running electric plants/generators all the time, and were thus forced to fold up and threw their employees into the labour market.
What about self-employed Nigerians like welders and welding-related artisans who require high electric current which only public power or bigger generators can provide? Many of such ones have been thrown into unemployment as they could not afford bigger generators (in the absence of public power) for their work.
Added to that is the large number of PHCN workers who were recently thrown into unemployment when the company was privatized to reduce expenses for the Federal Government as the company was not able to provide regular electric power to the public.
Poor Quality of Education
Every year, many graduates come out from the universities and colleges of education in Nigeria with little or nothing to contribute to the society.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 200,000 alumni graduate from Nigeria’s tertiary institutions yearly, but only very little number of them secure jobs after years of their graduation. The reason is because there are little facilities and ill-equipped lecturers/instructors who render poor services to the graduates when they were in their institutions.
And so, the graduates come out of school half-baked, without practical background to make good impact to the society, neither are they able to defend the certificates which they are holding. The result is that they add to the unemployment level of the country each year.
Lack of Skills
Another problem that is closely related to that of poor quality education, as a cause of unemployment in Nigeria, is of lack of skills.
For many years running, most Nigerian youth have disdained acquisition of skills, thinking that the time spent on such is wasted, and opting for so-called ‘clean-shirt’ and ‘easy’ ways of making money. With such mentality, these youths have grown into middle-age and even senior age without any skill to fall, thus becoming liabilities to themselves and others.
On the other hand, it is hard to see any person who is full of skills suffering from unemployment. A skillful person can adjust to many situations and environments and at least, feed himself and his household appropriately.
It is therefore, recommended that graduates who studied various fields of engineering — mechanical, electrical/electronics, etc. — should humble themselves to do practical training or apprenticeship in workshops of technicians for practical knowledge. In that way, such graduates will be fully equipped for employment (by employers or by themselves) and help reduce unemployment in the country.
Negligence of Agriculture and Other Natural Resources
Nigeria, as a country, is blessed with many un-utilized resources which are enough to gainfully engage every un-employed person. But the craze for quick ‘oil money’ has made both government and individuals to direct all attention to only the oil industry.
Those who are older would recall that the Federal Government and the defunct Regional Governments of Nigeria managed the country with agricultural and other natural resources before the ‘oil boom’ (which has now become ‘oil gloom’).
In those days, cocoa production was the mainstay in Western Nigeria (with the famous Cocoa House built from the proceeds); groundnut production was the mainstay in Northern Nigeria with the fame of the ‘Groundnut Pyramids’ back then; coal from Udi in Enugu, was the mainstay of Eastern Nigeria while rubber and palm oil were the mainstay of Midwestern Nigeria.A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
In a dynamic, changing economy like ours, there will always be frictional unemployment. Many economists believe that the basic cause of frictional unemployment is imperfect or incomplete information, which prevents individuals from leaving one job and finding another instantly. Consider the situation where there are 1,000 job vacancies and 1,000 persons with the qualifications to fill the jobs. Will there be some unemployment?
It is likely that there will be because not every one of the 1,000 job seekers will know where an available job is, nor will all employers give the job to the first applicant who knocks on the door (employers don’t know if “better” applicants are around the corner). Matching qualified workers with jobs takes time.
Since employment is a key source of identity and an organizational frame for daily life in our cultures, unemployed individuals suffer psychological and social distress. It is well researched that unemployment is connected with negative health consequences.
Unemployment leads to stress-related illnesses and a lowered self-esteem as a result of unmet psychological and social needs in such contexts as: time structure, social interaction, common goals, status, identity, recognition and also uncertainty about the future, financial instability, and loss of vocational identity…. That is why questions of coping become key issues.
David sent in this piece from No. 12 Kagoro Street Sabon Tasha.
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