Unemployment in Nigeria is a very crucial issue. It is a national malady that has rendered valuable youthful purposeless and idle. At less seven out of ten young persons in Nigeria are unemployed. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 35 percent of people who fall within the employable age are unemployed. With the huge population of teeming youth in Nigeria, it is no longer surprising that one of the major causes of insecurity in Nigeria is youth unemployment.
In their quest to survive harsh economic terrain, young people in Nigeria are left with no choice than to get involved in illegal activities to ensure that they provide sustenance for themselves and their dependents.
Most Nigerians, however, are quick to point to the failures of the government as the underlining cause of youth unemployment. The government, for most Nigerians, has failed to provide the needed ambience that will ensure that all Nigerians have, not only gainful employments, but also have all that it takes to be gainfully employed and to, in fact, be employers of labor.
The government has failed to provide the viable educational system, adequate infrastructural facilities, and social welfare packages, not to mention economic policies that foster and protect small scale businesses.
These and others are the shortcomings of the government to her young citizens. Yes, we cannot deny the obvious that the Nigerian government – the governments at all levels have failed the massive young population available in the country, nevertheless, the government is not the only entity culpable for failing young Nigerians, especially trained Nigerians in the area of gainful engagement and employment.
Private organizations and establishments are also guilty of prompting issues like unemployment. Nigerians have ignorantly ignored the failures of private businesses, especially huge corporations making huge profit doing business in Nigeria. For any responsible establishment, especially one making money in any society, there is need to give back to the society that has given you room to strive without being told or forced. Unfortunately in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. Firms making profit in Nigeria, fail to see to the problems in Nigeria as any of their business, and these are the problems they caused in the first place. One of these problems is youth unemployment. This piece would reveal why private firms are also instigating unemployment.
1. Investment in celebrity rather in young people:
One obvious reality that suggests that private firms are also to blame for the level of unemployment known in the country today is the endorsement of celebrity with millions of Naira which could be invested in the different sectors of the economy to create employment opportunities for young people who are grappling with poverty and deprivation. Private firms have continually increased the gap between the poor and the rich by enriching people such as movie stars, musicians, comedians and the rest, who have accumulated enough wealth from ordinary Nigerians.
The huge sum of money expanded on these already made and rich celebrities could be injected into start-ups in order to encourage entrepreneurship and increased the number of employed youth. It is more disheartening to know that these firms would readily pay their existing staff stipend, while they lavishly pay one popular personality the salary of thousands of workers to extend their business agenda.
2. Failure of private to invest in the educational sector The failure of most private corporations to invest adequately in the education and training of young people in the country is an instigating factor for unemployment. Unlike must developed nations where firms see it as a point of duty to ensure that they have a stake in the educational institution, corporations in Nigeria are not ready to invest in facilities that would aid the training of youth people.
Most of these firms want ready-made employee, employee they don’t have to invest on, that is they don’t want people who want to learn of the job. Most firms in Nigeria scarcely invest in the training of their own firms. Investments of big firms education, especially university education and their commitment to research is nothing to write home about, in fact some firms don’t allow student to undergo their industrial attachment requirement in their firms.
Ironically, this same firm can give price money as much as N50 million for frivolous reality shows that enhance their brands rather than enhance the intellectual and economic growth of the youths in the country. There is no doubt that some corporation can help some institutions get the needed equipment to enhance the training of students, however, since they have little to gain from such gestures, Nigerians firms would refrain from doing so.
3. Importation of raw materials that could be sorted for in Nigeria:
We understand that Nigeria largely survives on imported goods. To be factual, Nigerians out rightly shun made-in-Nigeria product. This might be understandable, especially when you consider and compare the qualities of both imported and made-in-Nigeria product. Yet, what is more annoying is the fact that ray materials that are readily available in Nigeria are sorted aboard; for instance agricultural products use in some industries in the country are on must occasion imported. The fruits used to produce juice are mostly imported by companies in the country. Tomatoes are a perfect instance. Nigeria is one of the largest producers of tomatoes, however, firms making use of tomatoes products find it convenient to spend billions of Naira to import this agricultural produce than to seek for it in the country.
Statistic projects that Nigeria expends N16 billion on tomatoes importation. You will agree with me that the sentiment for imported raw materials would affect the agricultural and exploration sector, while this would in turn increase the rate of unemployment in the country.
4. Influx of foreign experts Furthermore, the importation of foreign expertise has a very huge effect on the unemployment rate in the country. Private firms would rather employ experts who are foreigners or Nigerians who had their training abroad than employ Nigerians who are trained in the country. This is not necessarily because Nigerian trained professionals are bereft of sufficient understanding of the job, but because they seem to have more confidence in foreign hands.
Recently, Union Bank of Nigeria engaged a foreign firm to help them with the rebranding of their rebranding campaign. The engagement of foreign hands is a testimony to that fact that Nigerian firms would stick to foreign experts thereby reducing the chances of Nigerians to be hired. It is both shameful and painful that most foreign companies would bring experts who are not as educated as Nigerians to supervise their Nigerian staffs; proprietors of some foreign Companies in Nigeria are fond of engaging road side Artisans from their home country to boss Nigerians who have degrees. These foreign experts are paid more than their Nigerian Counterparts are.
5. Failure of firms in their social responsibility to the people:
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of firms to the community where they operate is uncalled for. Some corporate organizations don’t see it as a point of duty to ensure that they meet the basic needs of the people who have wholeheartedly accepted them into their community. Despite the fact that these firms pose a lot of hazards to their health, well-being and sources of livelihood, still, most of them fail to alleviate the plight of their host communities, just as we have it in oil producing states in Nigeria.
These firms fails to provide the needed basic amenities such as good roads, provide potable water, functioning health care facilities etc., that can help young people build their businesses and employ more young people.
6. Demand for years of experience young graduate don’t have:
It is not strange in Nigeria to hear recruiting firms demand for several years’ experience from fresh graduate who have had not been given an opportunity to work for a single month due to the choking rate of unemployment. The question is how these companies expect young graduate to come up with these experiences if they have not been given the opportunity to in any firm to grow and learn. The demand for experienced employee and other ridiculous demands have continued to increase the rate of unemployment in the country.
7. Repatriation of profit by foreign firms:
Lastly, the problem of unemployment has been aggravated by the continuous repatriation of profit made by foreign firms to their home country. Statistics by the Nigerian Communication Commission shows that the Telecommunication industry is dominated by foreign firms just as other major industry; the statistics that was issued during the second quarter of the year pointed out those Nigerian firms have just 23.44% of the market share.
This fact echoes the realty that the profits made in the country, which should be reinvested into the economy of the country by foreign firms are massively repatriated out of the country, thereby leaving the economy of the country deprived of investment and in extension, deprived of employment opportunity for young people. While this articles is not in any way generalizing or insinuating that all the establishments in the country are guilty of being insensitive to Nigerian youth who are loitering the street without jobs, this piece is basically pointing out the shortcoming of some firms who have turned blind eyes to the problem of young people.
I take cognizance of firms who are contributing immensely to the development of young people in the country. However, more efforts should be geared in motion by private organizations in other to get Nigerians out of idleness for the good of the country.
This Article was first Published: www.naij.com
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