Youth unemployment in Nigeria by Femi Aderupatan

Youth unemployment in Nigeria is a ticking "time bomb" despite positive indicators at the macroeconomic level, it was impossible to ignore the high level of inequalities that existed. Such a high level of unemployment, especially youth unemployment, and such a high level of inequality in the country create a social situation that may end in unrest.
You cannot expect to have nice economic development without having the society as a whole following. Unemployment in Nigeria is one of the most critical problems the country is facing. The years of corruption, civil war, military rule, and mismanagement have hindered economic growth of the country. Nigeria is endowed with diverse and infinite resources, both human and material. However, years of negligence and adverse policies have led to the under-utilization of these resources. These resources have not been effectively utilized in order to yield maximum economic benefits. This is one of the primary causes of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.
Previously hindered by years of mismanagement, economic reforms of the past decade have put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity more than doubled from $170.7 billion in 2005 to $374.3 billion in 2010, although estimates of the size of the informal sector (which is not included in official figures) put the actual numbers closer to $520 billion. Correspondingly, the GDP per capita doubled from $1200 per person in 2005 to an estimated $2,500 per person in 2009 (again, with the inclusion of the informal sector, it is estimated that GDP per capita hovers around $3,500 per person). It is the largest economy in the West Africa Region, 3rd largest economy in Africa (behind South Africa and Egypt), and on track to becoming one of the top 30 economies in the world in the early part of 2011.
Unemployment in Nigeria is a major problem both economically and socially. Unemployment in Nigeria has resulted in more and more people who do not have purchasing power. Less consumption has led to lower production and economic growth has been hampered. Unemployment also has social consequences as it increases the rate of crime. The secondary-school graduates consist of the principal fraction of the unemployed accounting for nearly 35% to 50%. The rate of unemployment within the age group of 20 to 24 years is 40 % and between 15 to 19 years it is 31 %.
Under employed farm labor, also referred as disguised unemployed, makes the rural unemployment figures less accurate than those for urban unemployment. Almost 2/3 of the unemployed rural population is secondary-school graduates.
Economic growth is not the only solution to curb unemployment in Nigeria, as the official statistics illustrate that previously unemployment did not always decline with the economic growth. Other solutions such as the provision of right skills to the people to help them tackle the problems and lead a more prosperous life should also be given importance
Recently, some experts have suggested some techniques, which can play important role in curbing Unemployment in Nigeria. These include –
Sports schools, evening clubs that teach kids to play football, swim etc
Computer training schools and clubs that specializes in teaching programming softwares such as Java, Oracle, ASP, Cold fusion, JSP, digital photography, and video 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 JAVA 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 Nigerian cities, and project, which can provide sufficient information about everything 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 power, can also generate employment in the Nigerian economy. The Jonathan administration must immediately start to leverage the country’s vast wealth in fossil fuels in order to displace the crushing poverty that affects about 57 percent of its population.

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