If there is one issue that can never be
overflogged in Nigeria’s polity, it is
how to engage her teeming youths in
socioeconomic activities through job
creation. Analysts are of the view that, the
issue of job creation vis-a-vis unemployment is
as crucial as social security, economic growth
and national security of Nigeria.
Last year’s unemployment statistics in the
country is very discouraging. For instance, the
World Bank report puts the unemployment rate
in Nigeria at 22% while youth unemployment
rate stood at 38%. The National Population
Commission, NPC, according to reports,
reeled out inconsolable facts stating that,
unemployment in Nigeria jumped up from
21.1% in 2010 to 23.9% in 2011. It also painted
an ironic picture of the nation’s economic
growth rate saying that it does not have any
impact in terms of economic empowerment via
job creation.
Quoting figures from the National Bureau
of Statistics, NPC maintained that the nation’s
rapid economic growth has not translated into
effective job creation. The NBS estimates that
Nigeria’s population grew by 3.2% in 2011, from
159.3 million people in 2010 to 164.4 million in
2011, reflecting rapid population growth.
In 2011, Nigeria’s unemployment rose to 23.9%
compared with 21.1% in 2010. Another report
had put unemployment rate in the country in
2011 at about 35%.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at a recent economic
forum, admitted that government is not creating
enough jobs. Job creation rate in the country
should grow annually to 10%, she said.
The above figures present graphic agony of
what Nigerian graduates and unskilled youths
pass through daily in search of jobs. The
situation is probably worse for those without
formal education, which is a fundamental
source of empowering individuals with the
requisite capacity for gainful employment or job
Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan
made a public promise to Nigerians that his
administration would create more jobs this year
through sustainable and strong macroeconomic
fundamentals. In addition, he promised to
scale-up investments in safety nets and the
Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, to
take care of the poor and vulnerable.
By all means, this is a beautiful statement.
However, Nigerians are waiting to see how it
can be translated into meaningful action. It is
clear that the growing number of unemployed
and unemployable graduates in the country is
increasingly diminishing the efforts of the Youth
Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria, YouWiN,
the National Directorate of Employment,
National Poverty Eradication Programme and
other agencies of government that have been
creating jobs.
The present administration should see job
creation as a veritable tool for curtailing
crimes, kidnapping, violence, thuggery and
armed robbery among youths in the country.
Government should also tackle corruption in the
use of funds budgeted for job creation. It should
also properly fund job creation programmes
and monitor its disbursement religiously