The prevalence of youth unemployment in Nigeria continues to grow every year. Ever since the period of economic growth in the country, there were always clamors for youth employment. Since, there has only been an upward surge in this challenge. According to statistics from the International Labour Organization, a United Nation agency responsible for developing policies for labour standards, Nigeria was said to have an estimated youth unemployment rate of 19.61 percent. Also, the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2022,reported that about 53.40 percent of youths in Nigeria were unemployed.
With about 100,000 graduates recorded every year, only less than 30,000 are said to have access to regular employments. As a result, the society continues to be increasingly saturated with a lot of idle youths who are exposed to various get-rich-quick illegal schemes, glorification of violence from videos and politics. Recently, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) projected that the unemployment rate in the country would skyrocket to 37 percent by 2023, four points above the 2020 data of the National Bureau of Statistics’ unemployment data for 2020.
President-Elect urged to model China in curbing unemployment.
Presently, the number of unemployed and employable youths in the country continues to increase. Bola Tinubu, the All Progressive Congress’ presidential candidate, upon being elected president is expected to face, the youth employment question. The incoming president is sure to face demands as to how to harness the numerous critical stakeholders to ensure productivity. With this, the increasing population of skilled criminals that are rearing around different areas of the country must be ultimately curbed.
For a start, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been urged to model China, under the leadership of President Deng. China was, in similar vein, also faced with the prevalence of youth unemployment. President Deng, after thoroughly analyzing global trends, mostly in tradable skills, made the decision to focus on education, especially in science and information technology. Today, this decision has immensely improved the socioeconomic status quo of China. Presently, the country produces about 50 percent motorcycles and over 30 percent of personal computers all over the world. Factually, the country is reported to graduate about 350,000 engineering and computer specialists every year, three times more than the United States produce.
Costa Rica accrues its 12% GDP from the sales of software.
During the 1960s, Singapore and Nigeria were said to be par on development, both countries accruing about $300 per capita income. However, the gap between these countries have widened over time. In fact, the Singaporean Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong noted that Singapore would not allow any barrier to knowledge, information and life long learning. He said that their open universities would maintain an open access, but would maintain the rigorous academic standards. On workforce, he indicated that they were working to expand the skills of workforce, whilst also keeping older workers employable.
In fact, Nigeria was said to be a lot better than Costa Rica in the early 60s when youths were optimally productive. However, the case is different today, as the country has transitioned into a regional IT power hub over the course of 10 years, as a result of their immense consistency. The availability of an educated works force has been credited as one of the major factors that have heralded the instant rise of this country. Presently, Costa Rica’s 12 percent GDP is majorly accrued from sales of software.
Unemployment can be reduced to its barest extent surge by 2026.
Despite Nigeria being a potential market for global development, one major problem that has affected the country and which the incoming administration must curb, is the dearth of infrastructures and an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. However, with the promise of the President-Elect for easy access to credits NYSC reforms, business mentorship, and business incubation centers, unemployment in the country can genuinely be immensely reduced to the barest possible extent from the present 11.9 million surge by 2026.
World Bank: Website