Unemployment by simple definition is a situation where able bodied young men and women are not gainfully employed even though they are qualified for the jobs. The reason being that the jobs are very limited or in most cases are not available at all.
In Nigeria today, unemployment has taken a new dimension rising so high, posing a great danger to our society. Young school leavers and graduates in all fields of human endeavours have no jobs and are roaming the streets. This social problem calls for concern from relevant authorities.
What are the causes of this social problem- unemployment in Nigeria? What must the government do to solve the problem or at least reduce the causes of unemployment in our country?
Firstly, Nigeria is an importing country, not producing because of lack of infrastructures. Virtually everything is imported into the country, from matches down to ordinary tooth pick, without conscious efforts by the various governments to set up industries that can help generate employment in the country. This has eaten deep into our hard earnings and a very big problem for Nigeria.
Secondly, Lack of infrastructures is another cause of unemployment in Nigeria. Power, we know is the engine room of growth of any economy in the world. The problem of power generation has been a very big one making the existing companies to run at a higher cost and even shut down and some others relocating to neighbouring countries. For instance, Michelin, Dunlop and others cannot cope with the epileptic power supply in the country.
Thirdly, Politicization in citing industries in some areas is another cause of unemployment in Nigeria. For instance, the Ajaokuta Steel Complex which was designed because of the availability of raw materials to feed the complex and proposed employment generation of thousands of jobs for our people have been politicized. Today, Ajaokuta remains a night mare and has remained uncompleted after over 20 years.
Fourthly, Lack of incentives and bad economic policies are another cause of unemployment in Nigeria. For instance, granting of tax holidays and other good incentives that will attract foreign investors are not there. Besides, political instability is another problem.
Fifthly, Corruption is another very big problem why we have not been able to address the unemployment crisis in Nigeria. Looting of our treasury, embezzlement of public funds, capital flights and other corrupt practices have been the greatest problems that have bedeviled the country, making development difficult to achieve after many years of independent.
What should government do to solve unemployment or at least reduce the problem in Nigeria?
- Conscious efforts should be made by the government to discourage imports and encourage production. Billions of dollars spent on importation of various items can be used to set up viable industries that can help generate employment in the country.
- The current power problem in the country should be tackled with all amount of seriousness it deserves. Electricity or power is the heart of any economy. If the present electricity megawatts are increased to an enviable height, this will help to solve incessant power failure and attract foreign investors into the country. This will help solve or reduce unemployment in Nigeria.
- Politicization of citing industries in Nigeria should be discouraged. Any reasonable government should come up with measures aimed at solving or tackling unemployment by citing industries in areas that are suitable rather than politicking or stifle them at birth. This will mean well for the country by reducing crime and generate mass employment. The Ajaokuta Steel Complex should be given speedy pursuit and completion.
- Unemployment problems can be solved if the government comes up with good incentives and economic policies. Granting of tax holidays, interest free loans will go a long way to encourage young entrepreneurs both locally and internationally to invest largely in Nigeria. This will help to generate employment for our teaming youths.
- Lastly, corruption should be fought to a stand still if we must succeed in tackling unemployment problem in Nigeria. Capital flights, looting and 10% kick-backs and other corrupt practices that have destroyed our social, political and economic structures should stop forthwith.
In summary therefore, unemployment is a problem which must be addressed with vigour. Is a social ill which if not fought, will affect our social, economic and political development in Nigeria. The government should lead while the citizens join in the nation building.
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