Nigeria’s Unemployment Crisis: A Ticking Time Bomb

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Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, is facing a serious unemployment crisis that threatens its social stability and economic development. According to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Nigeria rose to 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, making it the second highest in the world. This means that about one in three Nigerians who are willing and able to work cannot find a job.

The unemployment problem in Nigeria is not new, but it has worsened in recent years due to various factors, such as the high population growth rate, the poor quality of education and skills, the corruption and red tape in the government, the high cost of living, the insecurity and violence, and the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors have created a situation where there are not enough jobs for the growing labour force, especially for the youth, who make up more than half of the population.

The effects of unemployment in Nigeria are devastating and far-reaching. Unemployment not only reduces the income and living standards of individuals and families, but also erodes their dignity and self-esteem. Unemployment also increases poverty, inequality, crime, social unrest, and violence. Many unemployed Nigerians resort to illegal activities, such as armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, drug trafficking, and terrorism, to survive or express their frustration. Some join militant groups, such as Niiger Delta Avengers,etc  that challenge the authority of the state and threaten the national security.

Unemployment in Nigeria is a ticking time bomb that needs urgent attention and action from both the government and the private sector. The government should implement policies and programmes that stimulate economic growth, diversify the economy, improve the quality and relevance of education and training, reduce corruption and bureaucracy, enhance security and peace, and create an enabling environment for job creation. The private sector should also invest more in productive sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, services, and technology, that have high employment potential. Moreover, both the government and the private sector should encourage and support entrepreneurship and innovation among Nigerians, especially the youth, as a way of creating self-employment opportunities.

Unemployment in Nigeria is not an insurmountable problem. With political will, good governance, effective policies, adequate resources, and collective efforts, Nigeria can overcome its unemployment crisis and achieve its vision of becoming a prosperous and developed nation.

– Adebayo Femi James
Prince Abubakar Audu University Anyigba, Kogi State.

Matric number: 21MC1024


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