Youth Unemployment in Nigeria

 [ Masterweb Reports ] – As I lay in bed at about midnight few days ago (11/11/12), it was time to say my prayers before I sleep. So it came to my mind to pray for my country Nigeria, which I did with so much fervency like never before- at such a time. After the prayers I went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep because of the nagging thoughts running perpetually on my mind. And since this did not allow me sleep even though I do not joke with my sleep, I decided to put my pen to paper so that the thought would at least leave my mind and get on the paper.


It is the fact that God has been answering our prayers every time we pray but our leaders are the ones truncating our future and common destiny.


Different questions started running through my mind concerning youth unemployment in the country:


When has it become the responsibility of the youth to create jobs for themselves?


Have you ever heard or read where presidents or prime ministers of ‘developed’ countries asked young graduates of their countries to go out and create jobs for themselves?


It is however very unfortunate that this has become a slogan on the lips of almost all the political appointees and office holders in Nigeria whose sole responsibility it is to create jobs for the teeming youth of the country.


This is not only funny because of the misplacement of responsibility in my dear country, but is it indeed laughable because of the kind of leaders this slogan is coming from.


Can someone ask our legislators, starting from the senate president and any of our governors and even the president of the country if after they left universities and colleges they went out to create jobs for themselves? Can you ask them how many jobs they have created, even now that they earn enough money for 1000 people to live on?


Our president has been in power for a while; at least since being a deputy governor, how many jobs has he created from his own personal salary over the years, despite the huge salaries and allowances accrued to his office and others like him?


Every reasonable and focused government of the world strive and do all it takes to reduce the numbers of their unemployed graduates and even face serious criticism anytime unemployment figures goes up. This shows that getting people, especially young graduates into gainful employment is the SOLE responsibility of the government at all levels, whether in Austria or Australia, from Canada to Cambodia. So where did Nigeria leaders get their own kinds of leadership skills/ responsibilities from? Why do they breathe down on young graduates who have struggled to go through school, even with some debts, to start creating jobs for themselves from nothing? This is indeed laughable!


Some may argue that many youth and fresh graduates in the country have little or no marketable skills. As reasonable as this may sound, it is however not true. In fact, having little or no skills is not entirely the fault of the graduates, except you want to tell us that the youth/students are now responsible for our educational structure. Are the students responsible for the kinds of teaching and training facilities they get from our educational system? If they really lack skills, then do not blame them, rather blame the trainers and those responsible for the quality of training our students should get. Who are we fooling? Even those with great skills are at the mercy of basic amenities. Where is the enabling environment for the businesses to thrive? There’s no stable power to even operate a common barber’s shop, 52 years after independence, while funds are squandered in all quarters. This is a country where you generate your own power, pump your own water, grade your own roads and even provide your own security, making our level of poverty worse. This is indeed very interesting, painful and unfortunate.


I recently read an article about masters and PhD graduates jostling for driving positions in a company and I felt really bad, not really for the youth, but for the country. I am really surprised that such issues are never brought forward in the senate chambers or Federal Executive meetings (where those who claim to represent us meet) for discussions. The government at all levels should really be ashamed and bury their heads in ashes or mud- whichever is easier. How can you claim to represent a people whose lives are marred with abject poverty while you live like emperors to people you are meant to serve? Then I remembered what the bible says in Isaiah that “woe unto you that join house to house and field to field, till there is no place that you may dwell (and enjoy) alone in the midst of the poor. Woe unto you that call evil good and good evil”. But this I know, even if the courts of Nigeria doesn’t get you that of the Creator of all things will get you and all the riches you have dubiously acquired will be devoured and squandered in your very eyes. It’s not a curse, it’s written!


When in elementary schools our teachers said we are the leaders of tomorrow. How come after 30-35years of age we are still jobless? Is this how we are going to be leaders of tomorrow? Does it mean our teachers lied? Or tomorrow hasn’t come? Why is it that those in power when I was in primary school some 26years ago are the same people in power today?


Are the youth lazy?


I know some may say that most of our youth are lazy, even Nasir El-Rufai said same thing recently- which is rather unfortunate for he is a youth himself. Even if this is true, have we found jobs for those who are not lazy and really ready to work? It has become very common and rather appalling that before you could get a job in this country irrespective of your degree and qualificaion; you need to know someone who knows someone that knows someone. When did things get to this? Is this how some of the countries we claim to, and try to emulate do it?


We want to practice bicameral national assembly as done in the US, but why don’t we emulate the Americans where government takes responsibility for getting people into gainful employment. Why do we not emulate the UK in giving benefits and allowance to unemployed youths?


Is it not stupid for government officials to expect young graduates (with some backlogs of debts) to start creating jobs for themselves when there is no basic amenities in the cities, not to talk of the towns and villages? When, an engineering student would graduate without any hands on practical experience on relevant equipments all through school?


But funny enough, I do not entirely blame the government for all these rubbish. I blame the teeming yout

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