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Youth unemployment: A looming humanitarian catastrophe!
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was quoted as saying in Lokoja, Kogi State that “Nigeria has watered down her moral standards to the point where many of the youth are confused, discouraged, in deep trouble and streets are full of violence as a result of youth unemployment”. The unemployment rate in Nigeria was last reported at 23.9 per cent in 2011.
Historically, from 2006 until 2011, Nigeria unemployment rate averaged 14.60 per cent, reaching an all time high of 23.90 per cent in December of 2011 and a record low of 5.30 Per cent in December of 2006.
The unemployment rate can be defined as the number of people actively looking for jobs.
According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), unemployment rate in 2011, stood at national: 23.9 per cent, rural 25.6 per cent, urban 17.1 per cent, while the male was 23.5 per cent, and female 24.3 per cent.
While the NBS must be commended for carrying out and releasing this survey, the results are indeed humbling.
Between the ages of 16 and 64, ignoring those in full-time employment or those not willing and able to work, the figures released showed that Nigeria, has over 60 million people available for work. Out of this, only 48 million Nigerians have jobs.
In the figures released by NBS, Yobe State, in the North Eastern part of Nigeria has the highest level of unemployment amongst the states in the country, with 39 per cent unemployment.
Yobe is followed by Zamfara and Sokoto, with 33.4 per cent and 32.4 percent respectively. Lagos State, the country’s commercial capital, has the lowest level of unemployment in the country, with an unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent.
Others with single digit unemployment rate include Oyo and Ogun. On the average, unemployment in the country stands at 21 per cent, a rise of 1.4 per cent over the 2010 figures.
These figures are not surprising. They vividly reflect the “rent seeking” structure of the Nigerian economy as, unemployment is higher in the rural areas, compared to the urban areas.
With respect to age groups, unemployment is highest among youths between the ages of 15 and 24, with an average unemployment rate of 35.9 percent.
The AAreport shows a very wide variation along regions. There is more unemployment in the northern part of Nigeria, compared to the south. What cannot be denied is that the report confirmed what has been feared all along – that Nigeria’s unemployment is a serious economic and social problem”.
President Goodluck Jonathan recently launched a Youth Enterprise With New Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) in order to reduce the unemployment rate among graduates from the nation’s universities. In the 60’s and 70’s, unemployment was not that pronounced because the governments then were proactively providing for the graduates being churned out from the universities.
Every year, Nigerian colleges and universities are producing millions of graduates, who simply swell the figures of the unemployed, some because their courses are incompatible with jobs that are available. Many ended up working in clerical positions or fast food restaurants.
The youth are now involved in Internet scams and the now popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
Girls are the worst hit as they now resort to the world oldest means of survival PROSTITUTION. A catastrophe playing itself out!
Edo State and South South Nigeria account for 83 per cent of girls trafficked in Africa, estimated at about 300,000 yearly.
Some have taken to spiritual and religious homes, seeking divine intervention in their despair!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi,