By Muhd El-Bonga Ibrahim
The obvious realities on ground is that there are no jobs in Nigeria and almost everyone wants to secure a white-collar job. The days of white-collar jobs are ostensibly coming to an end. At this point, people should invest in personal and professional development like furthering their education, acquiring skills in order to become self-reliant as well as to become employers of labour.
According to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s unemployment rate currently stands at 14.2%. I was privileged to attend an event at the US Embassy in Abuja yesterday where the presenter talked about the statistics of unemployment in the country. For example, he said that in the first quarter of 2016, unemployment rate was just around 10.4%. This means there’s a massive increase within just one year. Surprisingly, the level of unemployment a decade ago, in 2007, was just a little 4.9%.
The implication of this fact is that there has been a mushrooming rise in population with little or no provision for job opportunities. Recently, the country went into recession where many people lost their jobs. This could have been a major factor that contributed in the rise of the statistics of unemployed people.
The Director of the Information Resource Centre (IRC) of the US Embassy in Abuja, Mr. Sagir, said something that I’ve been pondering about. He made mention of India, and how they’ve been able to tackle, or are still tackling, unemployment. India is currently competing with China in terms of population and they’re dubbed, by the next few years, to leapfrog China to become the most populous nation on earth. With over a billion people, India has just about 75 million unemployed people.
Knowing full well the potential danger such a huge number could cause, India has been able to use ICT to provide employment opportunities to its people. When you talk of IT worldwide, India is unquestionably leading in that area. As a result, one million people are being added to the work force on a daily basis. In comparison with Nigeria, youth unemployment is at its highest number. In the statistics he talked about, culled from NBS, the current sectors that provide employment opportunities in Nigeria include– agriculture, 70%; industries 10%; and 20%– for state and federal government civil services.
A country that wants to diversify its economy away from oil to agriculture should prioritize having more people in the industries, which means we need more industries to promote our agricultural revolution since we have the potential to excel there.
If this rate continues, I’m afraid, there would be a lot of problem in the long run.
God bless Nigeria.