Tuesday, 26 January 2016

reasons of unemployment in Nigeria



 - reasons of unemployment in Nigeria

There are countless reasons why the vast majority of Nigerians are unemployed. Many people give different analyses for the rate of unemployment in Nigeria.  Mckinsey & co think it is a whopping 50%( Omoh Gabriel 2015) NISER  gives a 55% unemployment rate for the year 2013.  Many others give very different results. Some of them give  results as low as 10%( www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/) . So, the results of unemployment are as conflicting as those who make the reports. As many government officials as possible make the figure to be very low to save face, while as many non government officials report what they see to prove a point , or , even to chastise and castigate the officials of government. The study of unemployment falls into the purview of the Social Sciences, so we are not expected to get as correct results as we would have in the Natural Sciences. All said and done, unemployment is a grave reality in Nigeria. It stares in the face, it eats to the bone marrow, it disturbs the bowel; and it is a source of great suffering and embarrassment to those who suffer from this ill.


There are numerous causes of unemployment in Nigeria , Shadare and Tunde(online) list the following: economic recession, governmental policy, employment of expatriates and trade union wage demand. Other writers list some other factors such as epileptic power supply, ill education lack of skills agricultural negligence corruption etc (   http://nigerianfinder.com/causes-of-unemployment-in-nigeria).  Uzochukwu Mike includes the following : Poor moral, Poor government planning ( http://hubpages.com/money/unemployment-causes-and-consequences). 1P. S. O. Uddin and 2Uddin, Osemengbe O(online). include the following : Rural Urban Migration: rapid Population Growth: Low Standard of Education , The Rapid Expansion of the Educational System etc
                It is obvious from the foregoing that there are many causes of unemployment. This article will pick some of these causes and proffer solution to the unemployment problems in Nigeria .  before attempting to proffer solutions to the problems,   we will list the problems one after the other
                Factors that cause unemployment in Nigeria :
1.       Economic recession,
2.       Government policy
3.       Employment of expatriates
4.       Trade union wage demand
5.       Epileptic power supply
6.       Ill education
7.       Lack of skills
8.       Neglect of agriculture and tourism
9.       Corruption
10.   Poor moral upbringing
11.   Rural urban migration
12.   Rapid population growth
13.   The rapid expansion of the education system etc

We shall now look at these factors one after the other.
1.       Economic recession
“In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction which results in a general slowdown in economic activity.[1][2] Macroeconomic indicators such as GDP (gross domestic product), investment spending, capacity utilization, household income, business profits, and inflation fall, while bankruptcies and the unemployment rate rise”.( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession)
As the definition indicates, it is a season of a low turn of the economy, economic activities are in low turn, spending is equally in low gear, investors fear to invest and even when they want to invest, Nigeria is not their choice of call. Nigeria has been in recession for as long as people can remember. Being a third world capitalist country, our economy and economic policies are governed from the metropoles – the core capitalist countries. So much for our dependence that if Europe or America, and for now, even if the Asian Tigers sneeze, Nigeria shivers in cold. It is that bad. The effect of economic recession is making entrepreneurs shy away from investing in Nigeria.
2.       Government policy
In Nigeria government policies are not geared towards pro-active means of fighting the unemployment malaise. If it is not ethnicity today, it is religious mathematics and consideration tomorrow, very few government policies are concerned about curing the unemployment fever. Clannishness and parochial considerations are the order of the day. Because of these primordial sentiments, wars, anger, poverty and a whole lot of problems permeate the economic firmament of Nigerians. This is indeed pathetic!
3.       Employment of expatriates
The economic space in Nigeria is very small – very small to a fault. The topmost cadre of the space – the most lucrative part of it all is smaller still, only a very few people are qualified for it. These fe3w who have reached the very height of education and technical skill , find it difficult to be employed in the technical and managerial jobs that would have been allotted them. The causes of these are simple – most Nigerians have inferiority complex; they are not used to doing things their own way. Being under colonial and post colonial domination, they tend to see the ‘foreigner’ as a demigod – as a sort of alien being that comes from space. Again, we are afraid of ourselves. There is that something : perhaps he is not educated enough?, perhaps he doesn’t have the skill?, perhaps he is not good enough? So much for mind of the African man . because the expatriates occupy most of the top echelon jobs in Nigeria VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG(2012) see the employment of expatriates was one of the factors causing unemployment crises in nigera – yes; and for the top echelon of the entrepreneurship cadre.
4.       Trade union wage demand
Unionism is a plague in Nigeria. From the university lecturer down to the lowest unskilled worker – roadside mechanic, commercial vehicle drivers, tomato sellers etc – unionism is the order of the day. They make stringent demand on government. They are ever demanding an increase in pay, they are ever demanding for improvement in government policies, they are ever seeking improvement in conditions of service. Their endless demand put the government in tight corner. Government cannot employ more when they have not been able to meet with the demands of the present union. The result – most employable workers do not enjoy the luxury of being employed  , even if they are employable.
5.       Epileptic power supply
Epileptic power supply is a tremendous problem in Nigeria. Power supply is never sufficient. Many businesses – ice blog business, ice cream business, cold room business, even mortuary business and a host of other businesses, rely on electricity to go on. Most of these businesses are cut low  for lack of light. Imagine a person with only fifty thousand naira to start an ice cream business, the person needs an additional fifty thousand naira to buy a generator set to start the business. If there is no additional money to buy generator the business perishes.
                Nigeria has only 4000 megawatts to feed 180 million people.  South Africa with a population of less than 50 million people, uses more than 40,000 megawatts of electricity. In perspective, it means the average south African has about ten times more access to electricity than the average Nigerian.  Because of this power is rationed. In most towns, electricity is available only twice or thrice a week. In places where power is a little constant – Sapele, Warri Abuja etc – power is got only about 4 hours a day ; and at times once in two days.  This problem of power goes a long way to dwindle business in Nigeria. Since businesses are dwindled because of power, it leads to unemployment.
6.       Ill education
More than 40% of Nigerians cannot read at all. Illiteracy is rife.  Even those who are educated, were ill educated. Very few graduates can defend their certificate. From curriculum development to class room teaching, the educational sector is poor indeed. Majority of schools do not have libraries; laboratories were non existence. Students who are graduates of Biology might never have seen a laboratory in their life time. Indigent students, who could not buy books, have no luxury of reading freely from the libraries. Education is expensive for the poor, the rich do not take it serious, government policy did not take it as priority – the entire sector is in doom. Due to ill education – or worse still – no education – research is low, creativity is low: therefore, the prospect of creating jobs is low. Unemployment is the attendant twin of the lack of creation of jobs due to lack of research.
7.       Lack of skills
Closely related to no education or ill education, is lack of skills. Most Nigerians – educated or not – lack skills. The curriculum is not much concerned with the affective and the psychomotor domain in education. Most of the syllabus deals with the cognitive domain. People know a lot , but applicability is very rare. Thus, skills are not there, creativity, too, is dead. Even those who claim to have attended technical schools are not better off. Courses such as Engineering, Pharmacy, Physics, which should concentrate more on the psychomotor domain do not even encourage the domain. So we have engineers who could not fabricate, pharmacists could not manufacture drugs, even computer engineers cannot repair, talk more of manufacturing a computer. So much for lack of skills as a factor that militates against unemployment in Nigeria.
8.       Neglect of agriculture and tourism
As a developing third world economy, agriculture and tourism would have been a big money spinner. The coming of oil did much to destroy the erstwhile economic mainstay of Nigeria – agriculture. Agriculture could go a long way to curb the unemployment rate in Nigeria. Imagine the tons of tomatoes that could be planted in the plateau plains of Nigeria; imagine the sacks of rice that could be harvested from the Hausa plains, imagine the weight of yams that could be harvested from the middle belt area of Nigeria. But all this is left to ruins by an uncaring government. What about tourism? Look at the beautiful fields of the Hausa; peruse the Calabar plains; introspect the beautiful hills of the Plateau; imagine the finery of the Enugu rocks – what about the varied cultural dances that hang out in all these exotic places. Tourism would have done a lot to do to curb employment crises in Nigeria.
9.       Corruption
Government officials are corrupt moneys meant for development are diverted somewhere and used for other purposes. Look at the Halliburton scandal. Imagine the billions of dollars lost in the Halliburton hullabaloo. Today, January 2016, the NIMASA scandal is on ground. Tompolo is the corrupt man of the moment. Yesterday, Diezani and others were in the limelight. Billions of naira , or even dollars, meant to build new factories are diverted into personal accounts. The development that should have taken place, are nowhere to be found.  Even when the factories and companies are established, the money expended is just too small – not the amount allotted to such a task. This great anomaly causes a lot of unemployment problems in Nigeria.
10.   Poor moral upbringing
Morality is low in Nigeria. The lack of proper education, embracing European fantasies, without the attendant technology, corrupt religious leaders – uninterested in salvation and morality, but preaches only money – stomach infrastructure leaders, and a whole host of incompetents lead to moral deficiency I Nigeria. With your money, it is almost impossible to find a Nigerian who will be honest in handling your business.  Thievishness, backbiting, gossiping etc, permeate the whole atmosphere. No serious man can invest his money in such an environment. Because of this, most investors prefer to divert their moneys overseas, rather than investing in Nigeria.
11.   Rural-urban migration
Infrastructural development in most rural areas are poor – no electricity, no DSTV facility, no pipe-borne water, no network connection for either telephone or Internet interconnectivity. The quality of life is poor to say the least. What more! Most of the lucrative jobs are in the urban areas: the white collar jobs of high repute. As Hobbes said: “Life is nasty, brutish and short” in the rural areas. So migration to the urban areas is the vogue.  The industries like agriculture and tourism, which could thrive better in the rural areas, are therefore, neglected. This further compounds the problems of unemployment.
12.   Rapid population growth
By 1960 Nigeria was just about 40 million people. Today, 2016, Nigeria boasts of more than 180million people. The growth of infrastructure does not tally or go in tandem with the growth of population. We have a whooping population growth of about 2.5%, while infrastructural growth lags much behind. So, the number of spaces to work is not as plenteous as the spaces of those to work.
13.   Increase in the educational space
Closely related to the population growth is the increase in the educational space. More than ever before, we are shunning out graduates in different institutions of learning. Tertiary institutions in nigera : Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education etc are more than a hundred in the Federation. Graduated are made on a higher proportion than ever before. So, there is no space to accommodate the graduates of all the tertiary institutions in the country. Unlike in the seventies, when graduates were begged to work, graduates of 2016 are destined to walk the streets until their shirt shoulders are torn and their soles are battered.
14.    Epileptic network
GSM and internet interconnectivity is in very bad shape in Nigeria.  Communication is difficult. Getting money from someone too is difficult. Imagine a scenario. A rich man is about to send you money. He3 goes to the bank and there is no network. He has promised to send you let’s say 500000 naira to start a small provision business. He goes five times to the bank to effect the transfer but could not make it. He will naturally stop going there. You will not receive the money and the little business you are to set up will not be put in place.

 Solutions
There are many solutions to the problems enumerated.  Government should prioritize agriculture , tourism and other small scale industries. In all cases, indigenes should be given priority over non Nigerians in the employment sector. Government should give priority to the power sector.  The GSM companies working in Nigeria should be coerced to work up to the approved standard. They should be seen to be working rather than just gulping the moneys of Nigerians. Moral education should be taken seriously by both parents and teachers. This will go a long way to curb corruption in the country. Children should be taught to be patriotic. Patriotic citizens are not wont to steal the funds of their countries.