Unemployment: Why Nigerian youth should be educated

President Muhammadu Buhari has advised young persons in Nigeria to change their orientation that schooling is only aimed at securing jobs, saying being educated enables one to identify personal problems.

Mr Buhari, in an interview with Channels Television aired on Wednesday, said education does not guarantee automatic employment by the government.

He said; “I wish when they go to school, when they work hard, when they have a degree, they don’t do it thinking that government must give them a job.

“An educated person is certainly better than an uneducated one, even in identifying personal problems. So. education is not just meant to hang on to the government to give you a job; and what is the colonials induction needed to have a car, to have a house, and to start work at 8 o’clock and close at 2 o’clock?”

Unemployment rate

Nigeria’s unemployment rate has more than quadrupled since 2016 when the economy slipped into a recession. The country also recorded a second recession in 2020.

At least one in three Nigerians able and willing to work had no jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Statistics also show that Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 33.3 per cent, translating to some 23.2 million people in 2020, the highest in at least 13 years.

The NBS, in its report, said the number of active working population in December 2020, representing those within the age bracket of 15-64 years, was 122.05 million Nigerians.

A Bloomberg report in March, highlighted that Nigeria surpassed South Africa on a list of 82 countries whose unemployment rates were tracked, with Namibia leading the list with 33.4 per cent.

The report said Nigeria’s unemployment rate surged to the second-highest on a global list of countries monitored.

Over the years, the number of people looking for jobs has been rising as population growth continues to outpace output expansion. According to the United Nation, Nigeria is expected to be the world’s third-most-populous country by 2050, with over 300 million people.

What can be done

Mr Buhari, during the interview, said graduates should adopt farming, to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

“They have to go back to the land. Our lands are not been utilised, so we have to turn our attention to agriculture,” he said.

The president said although his administration promised to equip young persons with tools needed for farming, the plan suffered a setback due to a shortage of necessary equipment.

“There is a setback because we need to buy machinery, tractors, clearing the land, dividing and giving people seeds and fertilisers.

“This cost a lot of money,” he said.

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