Unemployment is a situation where the active population of the country willing to work but is unable to get something doing.
Unemployment often leads to underemployment – a situation where an individual engages in activities far below his productive capacity.
The Nigeria unemployment rate grew from 24.2% in January 2015 to 33.3% in July 2016. The youth unemployment in the Country is currently at about 58% which is on a very high side.
In this article, I will share some very practical causes of unemployment in Nigeria, the problems it brings and possible solutions.
Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria
The major causes of unemployment in Nigeria may include:
- Poor Education System: This can lead to Poor or no skills for available jobs, Poor creative skills to create jobs on their own.
- Corruption in the country: Here you see some people especially in the government divert public funds into personal use, thus resulting to insufficiency in the required capital needed for funding some sectors, and this can lead to lose of jobs when there is no enough money to pay wages anymore.
- Neglecting the agricultural sector: This can cause the youths to lack interest in the agricultural sectors because the sector is not modernized and this can lead to Low input-output demand of agricultural products.
- Poor power supply in the country: This can result to high operating cost of business in Nigeria, and the high operating cost further hinders job offers to people. It can also lead to closure of many small and medium businesses leading to mass unemployment.
- High tax rate in the country: When the government tax the citiens and investors very high, it can lead to closure of many medium and small enterprise in the country, it can also discourage investment in the country.
Major Problems of Unemployment in Nigeria
Unemployment is a great problem to any economy like Nigeria. Its impact and effects cannot be overemphasized.
- Poor education: Unemployed Parents are unable to afford books and pay school fees. As a result, children roam about the street for survival and they end up causing nuisances to the society at large.
- High rate of crimes: Due to unavailability of jobs in the country, some citizens take to violence and dubious ways to make ends meet. They get involved in things like robbery, fraud, prostitution, rituals, pocket picking to make money.
- Poverty: When there is no source of income, poverty sets in. citizens are unable to feed and clothe themselves. Some people engage in disguised employment which is a situation where you earn less than you deserve or qualify for. The quality of life is reduced because of unemployment.
- Frustration and Depression: Unemployment can cause depression and frustration on the people. Most people end up committing suicide because of the problem of not being able to meet their needs. Some end up giving themselves to hard drugs and alcohol thereby risking their health.
- Increase in death rate: People die as a result of unemployment either because they are malnourished or because they cannot afford hospital bills.
- Insurgency: This is another problem of unemployment in Nigeria. When people are ready to work and the work is not available, they mingle with bad people and vices and start fighting the government. This is what has birthed terrorism (e.g Boko Haram) and Militancy in Nigeria
Possible solutions to the problems of employment in Nigeria
1. Reduction in tax rate: This will
- Encourage consumer to buy more through increase in purchasing power.
- Producers or business owners will produce more, innovate and employ more through reduce tax.
- The business sectors should be enabled through tax reduction and tax holidays to reduce operating costs.
2. Reformation of the educational system: This will help to:
- Increase graduate skills and makes them more a problem solvers, creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
- Students learning more of practical real life issues and problems than mere theories that are neither applicable nor relevant.
- According to African Manager Initiatives, formal education (university or college education) contributes only 10% of the skills we need to live our dreams while 70% and 20% comes from practical on job learning and feedback from peers, Universities should therefore not encourage job search over creativity, students should be given opportunity to go into business while still in school.
- Everybody must not go to the university or college, people should be encourage to pursue their passion. Vocational trainings should be encouraged.
3. Reformation of the agricultural sector: This will lead to:
- The increase in the sector turn over, increase its input-output coefficient.
- Modernization of the sector will attract the young graduates to engage in the sector.
- Establish bumper stock to take care of surplus produce to encourage the farmers to remain in the agriculture.
- The youth and graduates should be trained in the use of some agricultural technology to improve their produce.
- Through irrigation agriculture sector should have multiple cropping all year round to reduce seasonal unemployment.
4. Investment in Infrastructural Development: The government should
- Increase its capital expenditure especially in area of transportation – building god roads networks.
- Subsidizing transportation cost for ease access of raw materials by the industrial sector.
- Electricity distribution should be improved. Most business are collapsing because of high cost of business resulting from poor power supply.
- The communication system should be improved. A better internet connection in the country will improve the presence of most business online.
- Proper evaluation and monitoring of government spending on infrastructure will save the country from embezzlement of funds.