Unemployment and underemployment are wide spread in Nigeria.
This problem afflicts both secondary school and higher school products; sometimes a worker loses his work or a trader finds himself into economic difficulties and looks for a work to do.
Unemployment has many causes, perhaps the most important one is poor quality of education.
Many of the nation’s universities and technology institutions are not well equipped for practical work.
Likewise, many of the lecturers don’t know their courses well and so they offer very little to their students.
These come out of school with little or no skill to start working by themselves if they don’t secure job in the civil service or already existing companies.
Also, many students don’t take their school work seriously.
Some pass through examination malpractices instead of repeating courses if necessary so that they can defend their certificates once secured.
Many youths lack good guidance and counselling. There are many skills one can learn as artisan.
But information about them is sorely lacking.
For instance, many students of secondary schools, especially girls’ schools learn sewing in Home Economics lesson.
But they may not know that purses are today selling at around ₦500 a piece. That is even if they have people who can buy sewing machines for them.
Because of lack of quality counselling, students in secondary school do not know the right combination of courses to offer.
Many parents didn’t study up to the secondary school level and many of those who did can’t offer good advice on the selection of subjects based on their children’s aptitude.
Hence some look down on such courses as Agriculture without realising that this is a mainstay of any country and can attract government facilities like loans.
Among the factors that cause unemployment is lack of adequate electric power supply.
This causes many factories that would otherwise provide more employment for the local community to be forestalled.
Also, corruption of government officials leads to embezzlement of public funds that could be used to support facilities that would mean more employment for many Nigerians.
Rather than dwelling too long on causes of unemployment, since many of these causes will be difficult to eliminate, the question is:
What can be done, that is not yet being done, to provide employment for all citizens?
Many governments have had good intentions and many are still working hard to eliminate unemployment or minimise it.
Their efforts are worthy of commendation. Take the Anambra State government for instance.
It has encouraged its indigenes to form cooperative societies so that they can come along and take loans for agricultural production.
Added to this, the present administration of Willie Obiano’s led government has widened the facility to include any work a person might be doing and the need to belong to a cooperative society is not a pre-condition.
Let it become known that most Anambrarians are ignorant of this provision because they did not learn about it. Information should be dissipated through other means, apart from the radio, like market heads, village heads and local advertisement agents.
If the government wants to eliminate unemployment, they should establish or encourage the citizens to establish public limited companies.
If a public limited company has 50 shareholders as workers in that company, another 50 people might be employed.
This makes it at least 100 people employed. If each of the 50 shareholders receives a loan on ₦300,000, they would receive a total of ₦15,000,000.
Recently, the Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, said the government intends to build a structure of ₦20,000,000 in each of the 177 communities in Anambra State.
If 100 people are employed in 100 communities, a total of 10,000 people would be employed.
Then, if at least 30 States of the federation are to do this, 300,000 Nigerians would be employed.
If this can be done every year, no doubt, unemployment will be a thing of the past in Nigeria.