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Unemplyment and Vision 20-2020 in Nigeria Introduction It is a fact that any government willing to excel and meet the

needs of her citi zens without strategic planning seems to be building a castle in the air. Modern day government especially those in developed countries has far evolved from par tisan politics to tackling issues on ground and if Nigeria does not want to be l eft behind, just like the proverbial 5 maidens that forgot to buy oil for their lamps awaiting their master's arrival, then she must also rise to the challenge. The birth of Nigeria Vision 20:2020 (NV20:2020) was thus a welcome development. The plan which is Nigerias long term development goal was designed to propel the country to the league of the top 20 economies of the world by 2020. Attainment o f the Vision is therefore expected to enable the country achieve a high standard of living for its citizens. In economic terms, this translates to having a Gro ss Domestic Product (GDP) of at least US$900 billion by that date compared to ab out US$212 billion as at 2008. Nigeria Vision 20: 2020: An Overview The idea of Nigerias Vision 2020 has been traced to a research conducted by some American economists who predicted that based on the abundance of human and mater ial resources, Nigeria could be in the league of 20 top economies by year 2025, provided the resources are properly managed and channeled towards attainment of defined economic goals (Eneh, 2011). Central to the vision is the target of redu cing extreme poverty, along the line of NEPAD and Millennium Development Goals, MDGs. The NV20: 2020 was however solely developed by Nigerians for the Nigerian people. Its development involved a process of thorough engagement with all stake holders across all levels of government and society. The Vision is therefore, a rallying point for all Nigerians, regardless of ethnicity, political leaning, ec onomic status, or religion behind a common cause of placing the country on a sus tainable development path and transformation into a modern society better able t o play a greater role in the comity of nations. The Vision statement reads that: By 2020, Nigeria will have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and quality of life to its citizens. The Vision will be pursued through a series of three four year plan which will f urther articulate the strategies, policies, projects and programmes among other things. The two broad objectives of the vision are to: Make efficient use of human and natural resources to achieve rapid economic grow th and; Translate the economic growth into equitable social development for all citizens . These aspirations are defined across four dimensions: Social Dimension: A peaceful, equitable, harmonious and just society, where ever y citizen has a strong sense of national identity and citizens are supported by an educational and healthcare system that caters for all, and sustains a life e xpectancy of not less than 70 years Economic Dimension: A globally competitive economy that is resilient and divers ified with a globally competitive manufacturing sector that is tightly integra

ted and contributes no less than 25% to Gross Domestic Product Institutional Dimension: A stable and functional democracy where the rights of t he citizens to determine their leaders are guaranteed, and adequate infrastructu re exists to support a market-friendly and globally competitive business enviro nment Environmental Dimension: A level of environmental consciousness that enables and supports sustainable management of the nations God-given natural endowments to e nsure their preservation for the benefit of present and future generations. Under Vision 20:2020, the State is to be, on the one hand: stment) sector the enabler (helping the private sector to grow); the facilitator (putting in place policy measures to attract private sector inve the regulator (putting in place laws, rules and regulations and ensuring private compliance)

On the other hand, the private sector is to be: the executor (carrying out economic activities) the director investor (committing capital to economic activities) manager of businesses

The Strategic Framework for NV 20: 2020

Vision 20: 2020 and Unemployment in Nigeria In recognition of the debilitating impacts of unemployment, the Nigeria Vision 2 0: 2020 blueprint strongly propose that, the Nigerian labour management relation s environment should provide for higher employment, job protection and greater p roductivity in line with ILO standards, to which Nigeria is signatory. Labour ma nagement was thus suggested to be used as an important driver of technology tran sfer, employment creation, income generation and sustainable growth through indi genisation schemes, local content, apprenticeship/attachment and, cross-postings . The challenge for NV20:2020 is to develop a functional and effective Labour Mark et Information System (LMIS) for Nigeria, which will be used for the following: Tracking and analysing the economy in terms of labour implications, Determining future workforce training needs, Identifying the availability of labour, Ascertaining the prevailing wage rates, and Exploring potential markets Other initiatives for effective labour management proposed by the document inclu de: Enhancing youth employability and progression to higher levels of training. This will include measures to check and reverse brain drain and foster brain gain: provide adequate, well-paying jobs to serve as an incentive expedite action on the Local Content Bill in the petroleum industry, in order to create adequate opportunities for all citizens improve infrastructure, ensure political stability, as well as security of lives and property control emigration of highly skilled personnel for the purpose of knowledge tran sfer for brain gain

Enforcing expatriate quotas through appropriate legislation, specifying the clas ses of jobs that can be taken by expatriates as highly skilled labour only, ensu ring that non-nationals do not take up the majority of unskilled and medium skil led labour, at the expense of Nigerias teeming unemployed population. In addition , pursue local content initiatives vigorously to enhance employment opportunitie s for Nigerians. Ensuring equitable access to employment opportunities to vulnerable groups, incl uding women, and Persons with Disability Integrating the macro, meso (sectoral) and micro economic environments for emplo yment sensitive growth. Key elements of this strategy include: Pursuit of monetary policy that targets not only a single digit inflation, but a lso employment creation by the relaxation of monetary and credit conditions in t he economy. This should include accessible credits to the SMEs through the bank ing system (both commercial banks and microfinance institutions) Pursuit of fiscal prudence in the context of allowing/exploiting the fiscal spac e to accommodate investments with high employment potentials and catalysts. (e.g . massive investment in energy and education) Involvement of tripartite institutions (government, trade unions and employers o f labour) in the management of the macro-economy. This will facilitate a consult ative process of putting in place a non-inflationary productivity-based wage and price regime Pursuit of the transformation of the huge informal economy by aggressive policie s for developing and empowering thousands of entrepreneurs annually. The CBNs six centres of entrepreneurship development need to be strengthened and effectively coordinated, along with other initiatives, such as the setting up of a private s ector driven Entrepreneurship Development Institute of Nigeria (EDIN). The emplo yment and output boosting impact of entrepreneurial activities will trigger and make vibrant the dormant supply side of the economy, thereby easing inflationa ry and exchange rate pressures Legislate an institutional mechanism for ensuring full implementation of annual budgets, programmes and projects at the federal, state and local government leve ls. Full budget/programme implementation ensures full output delivery, hence inc reased employment and income generation as well as social inclusion. Other Solutions to the Unemployment Problem in Nigeria Fajana (2000) opined that since unemployment lead to the following: loss of status, loss of prestige and economic strength or power as a result of t he loss of wages and benefits of job, infliction of psychological injury as result of the breakdown in social contacts and isolation from the world of work, loss of responsibility, identity and respect which the position at work ensures, loss of purchasing power, loss of union check off dues, loss of production and stunting of gross national product, reduction in the pay roll tax revenues of the state. It is pertinent to reduce this scourge by encouraging: Sports schools, evening clubs that teach kids to play football, swim etc

Computer training schools and clubs that specializes in teaching programming sof tware such as Java, Oracle, ASP, Cold fusion, JSP, digital photography, and vide o editing, etc. Language schools teaching foreign languages like French, Spanish, and Chinese. Setting up of provisional work agencies, which provides temporary staff to small companies People with good web and programming skills can think of starting the following projects in order to deal with the problems of unemployment - program unique JAV A based applications to be used in 3G phones, a project to structure a complete phone directory of all Nigerian phone numbers, online map project of major Niger ian cities, and project, which can provide sufficient information about everythi

ng in Nigeria. Other projects such as building solar powered water pump for use in rural areas, solar powered streetlights, hybrid powered generators using solar and battery p ower, can also generate employment in the Nigerian economy. Other approaches being recommended for the purpose of curbing the unemployment m enace include: - The defective approach to human resource planning should be reversed; i.e coor dinated planning for human resources should be encouraged at all level of the ec onomy. - Coordinated effort towards labour intensive project - Resuscitate labour exchanges programmes based on comparative cost advantage - Orientation of university graduates to change their perceptions about menial j obs - Elimination of rigid job and wage preference - Graduate should be encourage to study for a higher degree in a more relevant d iscipline to reduce skills-mismatch - Validation of selection instrument and deemphasize reliance on the influence s ystem - In a situation of massive unemployment, the unions role is to protect the inter est of members; the labour is segmented in the process. But unions must broaden their aims in such circumstances to include social justice for all employed and unemployed people. - The trade unions can also help in creating more jobs by instating as far as po ssible on labour intensive project. - Population control, reduction in the rate of expansion of higher education , r eview of funding for higher education , diversification of the economy, explorin g the possibility of labour exports. Opportunities capable of generating employment in the economy have been identifi ed by the group as follows: That credit facilities if availed at the community level, would not only solve t he problem of collaterals, but also facilitate the informal sector economic acti vities, promote entrepreneurship and reduce pressure on government to provide jo bs; The cultural, community-based thrift and cooperative societies are being recomme nded as a reliable safety net for SMEs; Subsidies can be added to bank credits without hiking the interest rate, as is t he case in Bangladesh; Facilitation of financing/credit channels will foster creation of micro enterpri ses as well as promote movement of labor from agriculture to other sectors; Specialized skills acquisition from the educational sector [e.g.] polytechnics w ill enhance job creation; as used by India and other nations to export labor; The NYSC program should be re-designed to take corps members through specialized training, for immediate job placement after the service year; Entrepreneurship and career counseling should be given a pride of place in the s econdary and tertiary institutions. Universities should have an eye to the deman ds of the labor market in designing their curricula; The National Universities commission should award licenses based on the relevanc e of courses to the demands of the labor market; There are abundant untapped resources. We need full scale industrialization to a chieve full employment. The foregoing are opportunities that could enhance the visioning process if prop erly harnessed. References Diejomoah, V.P. and Orimolade, W.A.T. (1971) Unemployment In Nigeria: An Economic

Analysis of Scope, Trends and policy Issues Nigerian Journal of Economic and Soc ial Studies Vol.13, No.2 Pp 127-160 Employment, Unemployment, Joblessness and Incomes in Nigeria: 1999 2006 Luke Hay word and Francis Teal Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of O xford, May 2009 Eneh, O.C. (2011) Nigerias Vision 20:2020 Issues, challenges and implications for Development Management. Asian Journal of Rural Development, 1:21-40. Fajana, S. (2000) Functioning Of the Nigerian Labour Market, Labofin and Company , Lagos, Nigeria. NISER (2007) Needs Assessment of Youth Employment in Selected States of Nigeria. I badan: USAID/NISER. Nigeria Vision 20: 2020. The First National Implementation Plan, (2010 2013). Vo lume II: Sectoral Plans and Programmes. May 2010 Odekunle, S.O. (2008) Input of the Reforms in Information and Communications Sec tor on Employment Generation in Nigeria NISER Monograph Series no. 8.