Unemployment is one of the major issues affecting Nigeria’s economy and its society. The rate of unemployment has increased during last few years due the fallout from the economic challenges. This problem has been widely discussed. Let's talk about the causes, effects and possible solutions to unemployment in Nigeria.
Unemployment occurs when people who are able to work are unable to find a suitable paid job for a tangible period of time.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, 38% of the population that falls within the employable age are unemployed and 65% of Nigerian youth face unemployment as at September 2016.
Types of unemployment in Nigeria
This type of unemployment is caused by industrial friction. There are jobs but people can’t fill them because they don’t have the skills or are unaware of the existence of the jobs. This occurs due to ignorance, immobility of labor, shortage of raw materials, and breakdown in machinery.
This type of joblessness is caused by old age, physical or mental disability, irresponsible attitude towards the job and inadequate training.
This type of unemployment is caused by the shift in the country's economy causing a mismatch between the skills required by employers and the skills proposed by employees.
It is as a result of a decrease in the demands for goods and services. It is often caused by the economic recession or situation that forces companies to terminate a number of workers in order to reduce the costs.
It is caused by the constant technological changes that have increased mechanization of production. This results in less demand for man-power and displacement of human labor.
Causes of unemployment
We will consider five causes of unemployment in Nigeria:
High and Rapid Population Growth
One of the major factors responsible for the high level of unemployment in Nigeria is the rapid growth in population. There has been an increase in the growth of the labor forces along with the inadequate supply of jobs. The rapid population growth has been coupled with rural-urban migration. This has increased the population in cities thereby raising the level of joblessness.
Unstable and corrupt political environment
Another key problem is poor leadership and high level of corruption in Nigeria. The failure of the government to perform their constitutional duties has resulted in the high level of unemployment. Also, the high level of corruption in Nigeria among politicians has resulted in the mismanagement of the funds and resources supposed to be used for the creation of job opportunities for the people.
Lack of quality education
Most employers believe that Nigerian graduates are unemployable. This is the result of the educational program which usually include theories and a lack of practical use of knowledge. Also, most tertiary educational courses lack entrepreneurial training. For example, a graduate of agriculture course knows the theory but lacks necessary practical agricultural skills.
Lack of infrastructure
Lack of good roads, steady and sustainable power supply has made the economy hostile to investors. The lack of infrastructure has led to the high cost of production. The absence of investors influences the number of available jobs. The operating companies also use fewer people because of the high cost of production.
Unemployment in Nigeria has been worsened by the recent decline in the country’s economy. A lot of people have been laid off, while new jobs were not created. Most companies laid off employees because they can’t afford a lot workers.
Effects of Unemployment in Nigeria
Due to the increasing unemployment rate in Nigeria, there have been adverse effects on both the economy and the society. The consequences of unemployment in Nigeria includes:
- Reduction in the national output of goods and services.
- Increased rural-urban migration.
- High level of poverty in Nigeria.
- Increase in the number of dependent people.
- The high rate of crimes.
Solutions to unemployment in Nigeria
Productive work of the government
To overcome the crisis of unemployment in Nigeria, the government must be effective in performing their duties. A socio-economic environment should be created. The government needs to foresee looming crisis and to make all possible actions to prevent it. It is also very important to understand the scope and types of unemployment in Nigeria.
Industrial friendly environment
The government is to consider each sector of the economy and to provide the necessary infrastructure and industrial friendly environment.
Agriculture is one of the major sectors and the government has to do everything possible to attract private investors. Thus, creating new job opportunities.
Improvement of energy supply and transport system will cut the high cost of production. So, there will be no need to cut jobs.
Reformation of educational system
The educational system needs to be reformed in order to produce skilled graduates, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Practice and research should be priority, not just the theoretical learning.
Also, the government needs to create schools, good amenities, infrastructure and job opportunities in rural areas. This will cut the level of migration to cities, thus reducing high population and unemployment in the cities.
Nigerians also have to play their part in reducing the level of unemployment in the country. We need to change our attitude to the future of the country during the election period. We need to understand our responsibility. We should vote for people with credibility, answers and readiness to work. This will determine the conditions of life in the country. Our future is in our hands.