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Tackling youth unemployment through vocational skills acquisition

| Print | E-mail Written by Clement IdokoMonday, 08 March 2010

Minister for Youth Development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, being briefed on the state of work at Owode-Egba National Youth Development Centre.

Recently, the Minister for Youth Development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, visited Obafemi Owode to inspect the Owode Egba Youth Development Centre, one of the eight youth training centres his ministry is constructing across the six geopolitical zones in the country.Clement Idoko writes on the job creation efforts of the ministry.

IN the serene and rustic community of Owode-Egba, ObafemiOwode Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria, lies an expanse of land of about 56 hectares, mapped out by the Federal Government to boost its youth empowerment initiative. The project is the Youth Development Centre, one of the eight designated youth centres established by the present administration as a multi-pronged approach at addressing the challenges of youth unemployment presently facing the country. According to reports, about 10 million Nigerian school-age children are out of school. Some, who are not so lucky, are engaged in exploitative labour or sexually abused. Its a common phenomenon to see Nigerian underage boys and girls daily on the streets in major towns, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, and on highways, hawking items like groundnut, purportedly to complement the efforts of their parents, or at best, masters. Those not in these categories, of course, are ready tools available to politicians for use as thugs and scoundrels during election periods. Little wonder the rate of armed robbery and ethno-religious crises has been on the increase despite efforts of security agencies at maintaining law and order, and protecting lives and property of the citizenry. The Minister for Youth Development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, who exudes passion in his frantic efforts to address these challenges of the youth, once remarked that the magnitude of the youth employment challenge was causing the government a great deal of concern, as it is estimated that about 4.5 million youths, mostly educated, are entering the labour market annually. He said in order to prevent the already unusually high level of youth unemployment and underemployment rates from getting higher, the government had to take urgent ameliorative action. The Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP) prepared by his ministry, which provides a multisectoral approach to the issue of youth joblessness, had already been approved by the Federal Executive Council. Thus, the Federal Government is currently constructing eight standard Youth Development Centres across the six geo-political zones of the country, considered as a pet project of Senator Olasunkanmi, to massively equip the youth with useful trade and entrepreneurship skills necessary to elevate them from their present condition of poverty and joblessness, to a vibrant and entrepreneurial youth, ready to contribute to the development of the nation. While on a site inspection of the Owode Egba Youth Development Centre in Ogun State, last week, the Minister said the eight centres which are all in advanced stages of completion would adequately tackle the challenges of youth unemployment in Nigeria. The Owode Egba Youth Development Centre, occupying about 56 hectares of land, is developed with various skill acquisition and entrepreneurship sections, including Automobile Workshop, Agricultural Production and Processing Section, Integrated Sports Complex,

Tailoring and Hair-dressing, Clinic, Computer and Information Technology Centres, among others. Interestingly, equipment for tailoring, hair-dressing, mechanic, as well as other trades for the training of the youth have already been acquired, as the Minister was conducted round the large site housing this gigantic project. The site inspection was conducted on Thursday, 11 February, 2010, by the Chief Youth Development Officer and Principal of the Centre, Mr. Momoh Idris Olugbenga, in company of His Royal Highness, Chief O. Olufemi, the Baale of Owode-Egba. In view of the epileptic nature of power supply and generation in the country, the Education Trust Fund (ETF) donated a big 500 KVA power generator for unfettered electricity to power the equipment at the Centre when it commences full operation. The road networks within the nook and cranny of the Centre were fully asphalted with gutters neatly constructed to give the environment trendy a fantastic outlook. Senator Olasunkanmi, speaking with newsmen at the end of the inspection, disclosed that the youth centre, with the capacity to accommodate about 360 to 400 students at a time, would soon be commissioned as various construction work were at various stages of completion. He stated that the Federal Government had in 2008, approved N300 million for the Owode Youth Development project, with an additional grant of N150 million in 2009 budget, and that the funds had been properly utilised. He said: I can assure you that as we are here now, work is ongoing and almost at this stage in all the other seven centres, and in the next two weeks, we will also be in the North for the same site inspection. The minister said the training programmes involving about 35 different vocational and entrepreneurship trades would be for everybody; graduates, undergraduates and out of school youths. This, according to him, would empower the youth with basic skills to be self-employed or employers of labour; hence a drastic reduction in the growing army of unemployed youth in the country. He commended the work done so far, saying, I am impressed with the level and quality of work done and Im sure that in another two months, we should begin to put this place into maximum use. He further disclosed that the government had evolved a Public/Private Sector Partnership to manage the Youth Development projects in order for them to be selfsustaining. The minister also noted that the move to arrest youth joblessness was to minimise the risks to national security and national development posed by rising youth unemployment as already evidenced in increased youth militancy, violent crimes and socially delinquent behaviour, including increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS. According to reports, Nigerias unemployment rate of over 11per cent is higher than the average rate of 9.5 per cent for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2004. The major characteristics of this jobless group are youthfulness and their high-level education. While the youth account for roughly one-third of the labour force, they account for between 60-75 per cent of the employed. According to official National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, in 2004, young people aged between 15 to 24 years accounted for 52.9 per cent of the total number of unemployed persons; those aged 25 to 44 accounted for 41.1 per cent of the unemployed; implying that those two age groups accounted for 94 per cent of the total unemployed persons. It was also estimated in 2008 that about 300,000 youths entered the labour market with tertiary education, about 1 million with secondary education, about 2.5 million with primary education, and about 0.8 million with no education or as drop-outs for, making a total of about 4.5 million, and about 13.5 to 14 million 2009-2011. The scale of the unemployment crisis is highlighted by anecdotal evidence which suggest that currently, an estimated 60 per cent of the 80 per cent Nigerian youth population are unemployed. Thus, the World Bank recent report on Growth and Employment in Nigeria

covering 1999 to 2006 affirmed that growth performance had not responded to the employment aspirations of its population as a whole, especially the younger generation. The report noted that job creation had not grown in proportion with the labour force even though there were slight improvements in family agriculture. The Minister, speaking recently at the public presentation of the final Report of the National Youth Employment Templates in Abuja said the World Bank study also recommended specific interventions to create jobs, taking into account, boosting of labour demand, improved labour supply, promotion of globally competitive economic sectors, skills development and liberalisation of trade policies. He said: The language all over the continent is the creation of specific job creation programmes to take the millions of our youth out of poverty. This position of the World Bank panel was also recently echoed by the International Labor Organisation, which in its recent appraisal of world job situation urged member nations to create specific programmes to engage the youth in one vocation/trade or the other. Such interventions, the ILO recommended, was the solution to the ever-widening challenges of joblessness worldwide. But, one unique thing about the youth centres is that they are not some of those elitist programmes which yield little results, but are rural-based and more of community development programmes. More importantly is the enthusiasm with which the people of the community welcomed the establishment of the centre as expressed by the community leader, the Baale of Owode Egba, chief O. Olufemi. He said: We are expecting the Federal Government to come and start making use of this place. We know the importance and the youths are eager to come and start doing something here. Youth Unemployment In Nigeria
INTRODUCTION Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of 154, 729,000 citizens. Our nominal GDP is $207. 116 billion and we have a nominal per capita income of $1,4011. Nigeria also has the second largest economy in Africa . If I may ask, is this country not blessed? Yet, it is still plagued by youth unemployment which had been one of our major problems in recent years. Both government and the private sector had discussed this issue at forums and conferences but have not found a solution to it. Its continued existence had been linked to lack of power supply and financial empowerment for youths. Youth unemployment in Nigeria is mostly referred to as graduate unemployment and this means that only the skilled youths are seen as unemployed while the unskilled youths are not given any consideration. However, youths are not a homogeneous group and their employment prospects differ according to numerous factors ranging from region to gender to schooling. As I write this paper, there are thousands of youths in Nigeria that are unemployed and it is as if there wont be a solution to this problem.

THE EFFECTS OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT ON NIGERIA Various crimes and social vices in Nigeria had been on the increase since mid 1990s2 and they include prostitution, internet scam, political violence, kidnapping, militancy (in the Niger Delta), drug trafficking, armed robbery etc. The continued existence of these vices has been linked to the scarcity of jobs in Nigeria .

Youth unemployment in Nigeria has eaten deep into the agile and intelligent youths who despite the lack of jobs cannot do without activities. They get involved in crime, juvenile delinquencies, cultism, indecent partying and other social vices. I see a future where the agility of Nigerian youths would become effective productive resources to develop

a Nigeria which shall be a desirable country for all to live in. In this essay, I discuss the effects of youth unemployment on the average man in a local community and on the security of the entire nation. I then identify the foundational causes of youth unemployment in Nigeria, and proffer youth-led solutions which I am convinced if implemented will set the pace for other countries. I propose a progressive foundation: Life Investors Foundation whose aim is to invest in lives to reap the profits later by training youths who will become world-class sought for employable graduates. The methodology to be employed is to capture youths at the early stages of reaching an employable age (15 to 24). They include young school leavers and undergraduates, who will be initiated into the work field early, helping them to gain enough experience and knowledge of the value systems and principles of the work environment and learn the skills needed for effective productivity before completing their... Prostitution, for instance, rose during the mid 1990s with female Nigerian youths being trafficked to Italy.3 Internet scam had also been on the increase in recent years. Political violence, kidnapping and other vices had also been increasing recently. These vices have a negative effect on the country because they have been the fear of most foreign investors and they are also giving the country a bad. THE EFFECT OF UNEMPLOYMENT ON YOUTH 1. INTRODUCTION Unemployment describes the condition of people who are without jobs; unemployment is a global trend that mostly occurs in developing countries of the world, which not only affects them socially but also psychologically. Unemployment is one of the developmental problems that face every developing economy in the 21st Century. International statistics portray that industrial and service workers living in developing regions account for about twothirds of the unemployed (Patterson et al, 2006). In Nigeria accurate unemployment rates are difficult to obtain and generally mean little in a society where many who work are marginally employed and where begging is a socially accepted occupation. The Nigerian economy since the attainment of political independence in 1960 has undergone fundamental structural changes. The domestic structural shifts have however not resulted in any significant and sustainable economic growth and development. Available data show that the Nigerian economy grew relatively in the greater parts of the 1970s, with respect to the oil boom of the 1970s; the outrageous profits from the oil boom encouraged wasteful expenditures in the public sector dislocation of the employment factor and also distorted the revenue bases for policy planning. This among many other crises resulted in the introduction of the structural adjustment programme (SAP) in 1986 and the current economic reforms. The core objective of the economic structural reform is a total restructuring of the Nigerian economy in the face of population explosion (Douglason et al, 2006). Nigeria is considered as the most populous country in Africa and the eight most populous country in the world with a population of 154,729,000 citizens; with a nominal GDP of 5,207,116 billion and a nominal per capital income of $1, 4011, Nigeria also has the second...

Tackling unemployment through entrepreneurial development

by NIGERIAN CIVIL RIGHT MOVEMENT on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 8:13am Nowadays, it is common knowledge that employment creation is no longer the prerogative of government but rather, a joint effort between the public and private sectors. Perceptive analysts, nonetheless, believe that government ought to provide the enabling environment to stimulate entrepreneurial spirit in the nation's teeming population of the youth, which is its most productive force.

These days, it has become a commonplace to see youths roam the streets in search of employment that are simply not there. Frustrations have bred in their ranks, with many resorting to criminality in order to survive. President Goodluck Jonathan himself acknowledges this when he said recently that, unemployment, especially among the youths, was a major challenge for his administration. "Unemployment among our youths is one of our biggest challenges. The time has come to create jobs (and) lay a new foundation for Nigeria's economic growth," he said. He explained that it was because of this challenge that the Federal Government budgeted 50 billion naira the current fiscal year to tackle unemployment. According to him, "the money is meant to encourage young people with creative ideas so that they can generate jobs and employ others". Experts, over the years, have tried to examine some of the causes of unemployment, identifying some as seeming inconsistencies in government's fiscal policies, inadequate access to finance by entrepreneurs, besides the global economic meltdown. "Decades of non-inclusive policies have alienated the vast majority of Nigerians, reducing the country into a steam of extreme poverty and ravaging civil and political conflicts," said an economist, Dr Joseph Ibidapo. He traced much of Nigeria's current economic problems back to the historic overdependence on oil, to the negligence of all other sectors, especially agriculture, which hitherto absolved a sizeable proportion of the nation's workforce. Nevertheless, economic analysts insist that a huge magnitude of businesses in Nigeria plays itself out in the informal sector of the economy, reflecting the measure of Nigerians' inherent entrepreneurial capacities and spirits. They point out that the percentage of unemployment has risen to such a point that some youths now engage themselves in crimes as kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism, thus killing and maiming innocent citizens and engendering general insecurity in the society. Moreover, they identify the major hindrance to entrepreneurial growth in the country to inadequate access to finance by budding entrepreneurs, coupled with the absence of a viable credit policy which addressed their specific needs. No doubt, the lack of basic infrastructure such as roads and electricity are not helping matters, talk less of lack of adequate vocational/ skill training centres for rural youth and the absence of a regulatory environment that encouraged innovative business development. For some skilled youths, however, their handicap had been lack of access to resources and opportunities to engage them meaningfully. A case in point is Mr. Ogbonaya Peter, an agricultural engineer, who is skilled in the manufacture of cassava-peeling machines. "I am a trained agriculturist but unfortunately, there is no money to start up an agricultural farm or buy materials to make my brand of cassava peeling machines "I have approached the banks for loans but the interest they are charging and other conditions attached are not customerfriendly at all."

Determined not to starve, however, Peter has resorted to doing menial jobs for some money to supplement stipends from family members. Mr. Paul Johnson is another entrepreneur, who believes that with some little support from government, his business could expand to the level of employing others. According to Peter, "let government come to our aid and assist us in making policies that will enable us access loans easily and without difficulties". Another problem for budding entrepreneurs, he said, was the unfriendly taxation regime I most states of the federation. "What we pay as taxes is too high and does not make room for own development as young entrepreneurs." Mr Mohammed Aminu, a business administrator and analyst said that micro finance banks were introduced in the country to assist people at the grass roots but unfortunately had not discharged their obligations satisfactorily. Specifically, he urged President Goodluck Jonathan and his economic team to critically explore ways of advancing the economy by initiating policies that encouraged entrepreneurship in the country. "Government should remove all the stringent conditions on borrowing and provide the enabling environment to encourage the individual and private sector operators to thrive and create more jobs.'' He noted that human factor was critical to the development of Nigeria's economy, stressing that the problem government faced on its part was getting the right knowledge that would advance the society. "For the entrepreneurial business to thrive in Nigerian, the power sector, research system, justice system, information system and policy formulation methods must undergo reforms. "If government fixes power and tackles insecurity, the interest rate on borrowing will automatically drop by some percentage. Mr. Mustapha Abu, a political economist, said that creating the right environment for the private sector to flourish was a viable way to deepen the nation's democracy, while also curtailing youth restiveness and the attendant insecurity in the country. Abu said that the private sector in developed economies of the world employed the bulk of nations' workforce, warning that if the business climate continued to work against the sector's interest in Nigeria, then unemployment would continue to rise. He urged that more efforts needed to be made by government and the financial regulators to enable entrepreneurs have easier access to funds and credits at manageable interest rates, so that in turn, they would employ more Nigerians, especially the youths. Only on Oct. 11, President Jonathan unveiled the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (You WiN!) Programme. It is a collaborative project of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and the Ministry of Youth Development, with funding support from the private sector, the World Bank and the Directorate for International Development (DFID). Officials say that the programme primarily aims at assisting young Nigerians with entrepreneurial skills to develop their enterprises. Under it, over 3,600 youths will be financially assisted to actualize their entrepreneurial ideas and plans. "When we prepared the budget for this year, we had some funds injected to the tune of N50 billion that will focus on youth empowerment; which every year, we will up with different patterns".

It is expected that the programme will create between 80,000 to 110,000 sustainable jobs over the next four years, officials say. Some analysts express the viewpoint that the unemployment rate in the country had become embarrassingly high, hence institutions like the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and other agencies connected with promoting employment needed to be rejuvenated for better performance. Such calls, perhaps informed the decision of the Federal Government to break up the Ministry Information and Communication recently. "It is to also make sure that we focus on youth empowerment through creating a lot of jobs for the youth through ICT," Jonathan said. While such measures at the federal level appear salutary, observers insist that the initiatives must be replicated at state and local government levels, so as to make their effect far-reaching. They also advocate for a change of attitude by Nigerians towards entrepreneurial development if the transformation agenda of the present administration must be effective. Mr. Abubakar Ikhaghe, a legal practitioner, recalled that there was the global consensus that young people were the greatest asset any nation could rely upon for any meaningful development because of their productive capacities. Ikhaghe said the underdevelopment of this demographic section of the populace portended huge dangers for overall national wellbeing. Many stakeholders agree with Ikhaghe and insist that the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) target to reduce poverty substantially by 2015 may remain an illusion if unemployment persisted and is not tackled head-on by the government. It is imperative; therefore, that Nigerians must begin to make commitments to the promotion of entrepreneurial culture and mind-set, while skill acquisition, self-employment, economic independence and self-actualization, especially among the youth in Nigeria must be encouraged.

Solution to Unemployment, Poverty And Infrastructural Problems

F. E. Ogbimi 26 June 2011

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F. E. Ogbimi, writing from Technology Planning and Development Unit, Obafemi Awolow University, IleIfe is of the opinion that high-intensity learning is a sine qua non for rapid industrialization of Nigeria... Millions of suffering Nigerians voted for you believing that you will not fail them; you will bring the desired changes. You must not fail! You must initiate an innovation for the transformation of Nigeria and satisfying

the yearnings of the many millions of Nigerians looking up to you. Innovation is exceptional performance; it comes from combining simple known facts in a manner that has not been done before to bring about a development that has a very wide implication or applications. My article is a contribution towards initiating the innovation that Nigeria needs most today. The injunction, think before you act, warns us that we cannot solve a problem we do not understand. This implies that we cannot manage the economy well if we do not understand how it works. The most serious problem confronting Nigeria is the unproductive nature of the economy. Nigeria has an artisan/craftagricultural economy which produces only agricultural goods. The Nigerian economy is a preindustrialised one. All pre-industrialised economies are characterized by low productivity and poverty. All industrialised economies, on the other hand, are characterized by high productivity and high standard of living. A pre-industrialised economy is indeed a one-sector one, the built-up infrastructure and the UN standard approach to identifying the sectors of an economy notwithstanding. The industrialised economy is a multi-sector one. There is no short route to progress. The European and Asians toiled for 2000 (two thousand) years and longer to transform their economies from agricultural ones into industrialised ones. It is therefore foolish for anyone to believe that an economy can be transformed overnight through foreign investments including foreign direct investments (FDIs) and mass importation. A wise nation takes the lessons of history seriously. The Americans tried mass-importation from Europe and later realized that it was a futile effort (Moore, 1801). Industrialisation transforms an economy from an undesirable low competence status (characterized by primitive agricultural activities, mass unemployment , poverty, high crime wave, etc.) into a high competence status(characterized by many manufacturing activities, low unemployment, affluence, low crime wave, etc.). Mere capital investments, including FDIs do not promote sustainable economic growth and industrialization (SEGI). This is because, competence is not a commodity that can be purchased instantaneously when a critical shortage is real; competence being the sum of knowledge, experience and the ability to learn is uniquely related to persons (Brautaset, 1990). Industrialisation is a learning and capability-building process. Every man and every woman are born as crying babies. The healthy baby soon begins to babble, that is, learns how to talk, acquires the capabilities to talk and then talks. Every other capability including those for producing the modern goods Nigerians and other Africans import is acquired through learning. In all learning processes, the rate of progress depends very strongly on the rate of learning. High-intensity learning leads to rapid progress and vice versa. Western and Eastern nations learnt very slowly and suffered for 2000 year and longer before transforming their economies into modern ones. Theirs were societies without governments and development was private sector-led. No individual or nation is born with advanced production skills. All types of societies (communist/socialists, capitalist, military, feudal, etc.) must learn and acquire the needed capabilities for solving the problems confronting them, if they are to be free of want. Daniel Lee (1852), wrote that progress implies an advancement from things known to things unknown - an addition to the aggregate wisdom of the world. Hence except a society makes systematic efforts towards increasing knowledge, progress is impracticable. Schumpeter (1934), wrote that development is internal to a nation. A backward nation waiting and begging foreigners to come and invest in it so that it can achieve SEGI is only wasting time and other resources and revelling in the bliss of ignorance. Following a long-term learning and accumulation of critical quantities of knowledge, skills and competences (KSCs), an economy achieves a technological maturity or technological puberty. True economic diversification follows. True diversification is the economic status at which many sectors of an economy become developed and efficient. Diversification is not about investing in oil and non-oil sectors in an artisan-agricultural economy. Diversification is one of the fruits or aftermath of industrial maturity or technological puberty. The development of adequate and reliable infrastructure is also a fruit of industrialization. An artisan economy like Nigeria's cannot and will not build adequate and reliable infrastructure. Thus, the level of industrialization of any nation determines the quality and reliability of its

infrastructure. Nigeria must stop wasting huge amounts of resources in the futile attempt to generating electric power through the importation of turbines and transformers. Britain experienced mass unemployment for centuries. However, when the nation achieved Industrial maturity, there were not enough adult males and females to fill the job openings that were available. Industrialists had to resort to employing children to work for many hours. This is the basis of the scandalous child labour associated with the early phase of the European industrialization (Dent, 1975). Again, the level of industrialization of a nation determines the type of unemployment it experiences. So, it is industrialisation Nigeria needs to promote to address mass unemployment, poverty, high crime wave and infrastructural problems. Putting this figuratively, we say, whereas industrialization is the disease, mass unemployment and high crime wave, poverty and poor infrastructure are the symptoms of the disease.
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To promote rapid industrialization, we need to correspondingly promote high-intensity learning and speedy accumulation of KSCs. Education and training are the instruments for promoting high-intensity Youth Unemployment In Nigeria
INTRODUCTION Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of 154, 729,000 citizens. Our nominal GDP is $207. 116 billion and we have a nominal per capita income of $1,4011. Nigeria also has the second largest economy in Africa . If I may ask, is this country not blessed? Yet, it is still plagued by youth unemployment which had been one of our major problems in recent years. Both government and the private sector had discussed this issue at forums and conferences but have not found a solution to it. Its continued existence had been linked to lack of power supply and financial empowerment for youths. Youth unemployment in Nigeria is mostly referred to as graduate unemployment and this means that only the skilled youths are seen as unemployed while the unskilled youths are not given any consideration. However, youths are not a homogeneous group and their employment prospects differ according to numerous factors ranging from region to gender to schooling. As I write this paper, there are thousands of youths in Nigeria that are unemployed and it is as if there wont be a solution to this problem.

THE EFFECTS OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT ON NIGERIA Various crimes and social vices in Nigeria had been on the increase since mid 1990s2 and they include prostitution, internet scam, political violence, kidnapping, militancy (in the Niger Delta), drug trafficking, armed robbery etc. The continued existence of these vices has been linked to the scarcity of jobs in Nigeria .

Prostitution, for instance, rose during the mid 1990s with female Nigerian youths being trafficked to Italy.3 Internet scam had also been on the increase in recent years. Political violence, kidnapping and other vices had also been increasing recently. These vices have a negative effect on the country because they have been the fear of most foreign investors and they are also giving the country a bad.learning. Anyone who either acquires theoretical knowledge from

educational institution, alone, or acquires a small quantity of practical skills from artisan workshop or technical/vocational institutions, alone, is a mediocre. The versatile individual is one who acquires both theoretical and practical skills in great depth and breath. To facilitate a rapid industrialization in Nigeria, Nigeria must do the following: 1) Promote high-intensity education at all levels. 2) Give training outside educational campuses equal emphasis as education. All graduates of tertiary education should be trained to acquire complementary practical skills in artisans/craftsmen workshops, factory floor work settings, offices and all other places where skill-acquisition opportunities abound. All university science and engineering graduates should be trained for 4-5 years to know how the things Nigeria imports work and how they are made. The graduates of this training, the industrialization vanguards, should be challenged to build and maintain our infrastructure. 3) Nigeria should adopt full employment policy; let everyone be involved in learning or applying his or her knowledge and skills in production. All youths not in schools now ride Chinese motor cycles or wander aimlessly in towns and cities. Unemployment is a national waste (Ogbimi, 2006). The apprenticeship system is dead in Nigeria. All those in training must be paid adequate stipend to lead a normal life and to maintain high interest and discipline in the training programmes. Reduce the number and value of contracts awarded by government drastically to promote direct labour and to fund the proposed learning activities. The training programme is to link the educational sector with the rest of the economy more directly. More importantly, the training programmes are to channel the theoretical knowledge generated in educational institutions into the rest of the economy for production purposes. The three steps listed above would initiate the desired innovation. The impact of the innovation would be evident immediately. The Nigerian economy would approach industrialisation when 20 million university science and engineering graduates complete 4-5 years training for the acquisition of complementary practical skills in the rest of the economy. Mass unemployment, poverty and high crime wave would correspondingly vanish and the quality of our infrastructure would improve accordingly.

Solution to Mass Unemployment in Nigeria

Book Description Unemployment has been a global menace for decades. However, the problem of unemployment is by far more severe in the developing nations of the world, especially in the artisan/craft economies of sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria.
The development of a scientific solution to co-existent mass unemployment, low productivity and high inflation problems is one of the great rewards for our research efforts in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Our research revealed that all Western nations experienced mass unemployment before they achieved modern Industrial Revolution (IR). Hence, there cannot be solution to mass unemployment without promoting rapid industrialization; a developing nation can only solve unemployment problem by promoting rapid industrialization. The theories of industrialization and employment/unemployment are quite related. Our theory of employment shows that any economy is in or close to one of three fundamental states. These are coexistent: (I) Mass Unemployment (Low Employment) Low Productivity and High Inflation; (II) Low Unemployment (High Employment), Optimal Productivity, and Minimal Inflation; and (III) Low Unemployment (Full Employment), Low Productivity and High Inflation. Status I is what economists described as stagflation; it is the situation in artisan/craft economies of sub-Saharan Africa. Status II is the most desirable one; it is the situation in well-managed industrialized nations. Status III is a utopian one. To transform an economy from status I into status II is facilitated by quantum increase in employment (in quantity and quality) or increased industrialization. The major cause of unemployment problem in sub-Saharan Africa is the absence of adequate training for the acquisition of practical skills for graduates of educational institutions in the region. The theoretical basis of these relationships culled from our book is represented here. Ogbimi (1990a), observed that every production process or system has an intrinsic value, aspects to it. These are the value of the goods/services obtainable from the system, opportunities associated with the system, . This relationship may be .This value has two represented as:

and the value of the learning

The automobile repair workshop for example, provides the service of car repairs and also has learning opportunities for training apprentices. A typical industrial plant produces industrial products and also has learning opportunities. Similarly, any economy produces goods and provides services and also has learning opportunities. A nation may decide to neglect the learning opportunities in the economy and concentrate on the production of goods/services. Unfortunately, learning is the source of new knowledge and skills and improved productivity. Any nation that neglects learning risks stagnation. In a progressive society, grows from increases in both and , because as learning takes place, improved knowledge and skills are acquired and input into the system. These (the improved knowledge and skills) are the fundamental bases for improving productivity and total production. Primitive nations which neglect the learning opportunities in their production systems cannot establish the necessary production linkages demanded by a modern economy. They also cannot bridge the gap between theoretical and practical skills; and they cannot achieve rapid industrialization. Nations which neglect the learning opportunities in their economies experience mass unemployment, courtesy of the neglect of the opportunities for expanding the production base of the economy. Societies which neglect the learning opportunities in their economies cannot experience innovations because learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills and applying these in production are the bases for achieving innovations. Equation (8) illustrates that the real value of the interactions among nations is in learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills. It is when the people in a production system learn and understand the problems in it that they are able to solve them and improve productivity. In the absence of learning and acquisition of new knowledge, productivity stagnates or drops.

It is the learning component of the value of a production system that matters in the interaction among nations. The lessons of history show that one society learns from another and this provides the basis for improving the productivity of the society with the lower productivity. No society has achieved modern industrialization in isolation (Ogbimi, 1988). Europe began the modern era with almost total dependence on the Chinese, Indian and Islamic cultures the Great Medieval Civilizations (Cardwell, 1974). Indeed, England was accused by continental Europe of copying its inventions and being unoriginal, just before England achieved the first modern industrial revolution. The learning society is the progressive one. Americans later learnt from Europeans, and Japanese learnt from Europeans and Americans. It is probably the turn of Africans to learn from the rest of the world Europeans, Americans and Asians, in the sequence of one continent learning from the other. This is the real benefit of foreign investment in modern time. The real value of foreign investment therefore, lies in the opportunities they provide for learning about the production/service systems in other societies. The real value of foreign investment therefore, lies in the opportunities they provide for learning about the production/service systems in other societies. The real value of foreign investment does not lie in the glamour of board membership, market, equity shares and dividends, or in the menial jobs they provide for illiterates in a developing nation. Unfortunately, Nigerian economic planners have not realized this and they have had no reason for stressing the real value of foreign investments. The ability to learn from a productive system depends on the extent the person concerned understands the principles underlying the production. Illiterates cannot learn from a sophisticated production system. As people learn and understand the production activities in the various sectors of an economy, the relevant linkages become established. Equation (8) was further analysed, Ogbimi (1995). The method of analysis was as shown in figure 11. With true inflation (I) define as the ratio, P/V, where P is the sellers price and V is the producers cost, it was demonstrated that each curve was the image of the other. The upper curve (the parabola) was identified as the inflation parabola while the lower curve (the hyperbola) was identified as the productivity (or production) hyperbola. In other words, improved productivity is the true antidote (remedy) for inflation. Numerically, this is expressed as:

Figure 12 shows the relationships among the level of employment; learning, knowledge and skills and the relevant automation in a production system; and the level of productivity and the level of inflation in an economy. The results show that any economy may be characterized by one of three fundamental stati. These are co-existent: (I) Low Productivity, High Unemployment and High Inflation (Stagflation); (II) Optimum Productivity, High Employment (low unemployment) and Minimal Inflation; and (III) Low Productivity, Full Employment and High Inflation. Developing nations are in position (I); they are confronted by low productivity, mass unemployment (low employment) and high inflation problems. England and other western nations faced these problems for many centuries. When western nations achieved industrialization (industrial transformation), they became closer to position (II) and were able to solve the problems and experienced high productivity (optimum productivity), high employment (low unemployment) and minimal inflation. Industrialized nations are closer to position II. Position (III) is a theoretical or utopian one, because no nation employs citizens to that level. Western intelligentsia, especially Phillips (1958) and the World Bank and IMF workers have been confusing position (I) with position (III). However, our analysis, figure 12 makes it easy to distinguish between the positions. In position (III), there is a trade-off relationship between unemployment and inflation; reduction of unemployment (increase in employment) increases inflation, and vice-versa. Whereas in position (I), reduction of unemployment (increase in employment) improves productivity and reduces inflation. The application of Phillips curve-trade-off relationship between inflation and unemployment assumes that the nation is in position (III). All developing nations are in

position (I) and not position (III). The World Bank and IMF have always been applying Phillips curve in African and Latin American nations in error. This has been a grievous error and it is one other way the Brentton Woods institutions have mismanaged developing nations for many decades. The management of an economy from one status to another, say from position (I) to position (II), or position (II) to position (III), is a fundamental change a transformation, one which demands a quantum input of quality knowledge and skills into

the production system or economy. Industrialization moves an economy from position (I) towards position (II). The theory of employment, productivity and inflation, again, shows that learning is the fundamental basis of growth and development. The theory also demonstrates that the characteristics of mans production aids machines, are dependent on the knowledge man possesses for making them. Man makes tools and machinery to help him in doing certain things, but not learning. This is because man uniquely learns, machines do not learn. This is why machines cannot supplant man in the production process. When machines supplant man, growth and development in that society will stop.

Unemployment In Nigeria: On The Increase

By Bolaji Aregbeshola Published 12/14/2008

Nigeria Matters


Bolaji Aregbeshola
Bolaji Aregbesola contributes from Nigeria.

View all articles by Bolaji Aregbeshola

Unemployment In Nigeria: On The Increase

Work has been described as a means of giving ones life purpose, direction, order and dignity. It also helps to support oneself but when a high percentage of the nations youth are unemployed due to governments lack of ingenuity-what happens? The results of these are youth restiveness, crime, violence, e.t.c. The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is on the increase with the disappearance of jobs in the public service, the churning out of an estimated 120,000 graduates annually by Nigerian Universities and Polytechnics, lack of industrialization e.t.c. Many youths have taken to robbery, extortion of money from people and so on. Our political leaders do not have a national sense of urgency to a problem which the Sultan of Sokoto calls a time bomb waiting to explode. Though the issue of unemployment in not peculiar to Nigeria alone. It is a universal problem but the Nigerian government has not taken the necessary steps to arrest this situation rather, it has remained silent. One would have expected that the privatization program under the immediate past president, Olusegun Obasanjo was aimed at providing employment for the jobless youths of this country but the program has failed in this regard. Some people have said that the graduates that are churned out by Nigerian Universities and polytechnics have unemployable skills but could this be true? And if this assertion is correct, could the graduates be blamed for the lack of employable skills? Everyone knows that the standard of education in Nigeria has drastically fallen besides most educational institutions in the country have not tailored their programs to meet the demand of the workforce. This makes their products ill-prepared for the labour market. Most companies have to train fresh university and polytechnic graduates in order to acquire the skills necessary to perform their roles. Another terrifying issue is how thousands of graduates roam the streets for so many years in search of jobs. The lucky ones who eventually get an offer after about five years of graduation would most likely have forgotten the little skill they were able to acquire while in school and unless they become trained, such graduates would not function effectively on their jobs. Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a reaction to the different calls, appeal and demand by concerned Nigerians for the scrapping of the NYSC program said that in the face of high level graduate unemployment, the NYSC offered a stop-gap measure against joblessness. This statement may be true to some extent but the fact still remains that these youth corpers join the league of unemployed youths after the mandatory one-year National service except for a few number of them who becomes retained by the organizations they were posted to work. Apart from the unemployed graduates, other cadre such as the secondary school drop-outs and school leavers as well as the agberos also make-up the unemployed youths in Nigeria. Vocational training centres which were meant to cater for this set of youths are not in existence. Also, skill acquisition programmes which could empower graduates and non-graduates alike are hardly developed by governments. These youth centres and programmes, if functional, would afford the teeming population of unemployed youths in Nigeria the opportunity of acquiring sellable skills thereby making them productive. This will in turn reduce violence and crime among others. The absence of such youth empowerment programme across the federation has led to an increase in the number of miscreants/street urchins who indulge in crime, violence e.t.c. The procurement of commercial three-wheeler vehicles and the promotion of okada riding by the past administration is not a solution to the issue of unemployment in Nigeria. They have become a nightmare rather than a solution. What government needs to do is create new jobs and provide welfare programmes for the young teenage mothers, unemployed and underemployed youths. Our resources are enough to be widening spread among the citizens of the country.

According to Senator Arthur Nzeribe, huge incomes accruing to the nation are consumed at the top by politicians but these monies can be used to provide welfare programmes for the unemployed youths of the country while government create new jobs. It can also leverage low income earners most of whom their jobs dont pay enough to support their families. Government at all levels cannot afford to be passive about this issue, they must act as a matter of urgency to arrest the situation if a society free of incessant crime and violence is what we crave.