Unemployment in Nigeria: A total mockery of education

Every normal being aspires to be great, aiming always for the peak of success. Dreaming big remains a natural attribute of any positive thinking human being, describing either a conscious or an unconscious act of wishing for the very best things of life. It is therefore a thing of joy seeing little children brag about the line of profession they’ve chosen for themselves to become when they attain responsible ages.

On the other hand, ‘Knowledge is wealth,’ which remains a popular slogan used in describing the latent empowerment potentials attached to the acquisition of knowledge, whether basic or advanced, formal or informal, which when sought for and gotten, paves way for a bedrock of creative ideas, skills, including the right technical-know-how, which when effectively combined and utilized, creates avenues to wealth, a delicate step to better living. It is for this reason that parents and guardians work assiduously to ensure that their wards follow the path to education for the purpose of acquiring such befitting knowledge. Now, having spent a long duration of time committing one’s self to the various twisting processes of learning, fulfilling all necessary requirements and obtaining several deserving certificates in return, it is expected that such accumulated knowledge gotten would be effectively applied professionally in various sectors of the labour world, for the purpose of not only sustaining and improving one’s means of livelihood, but also to grease the nation’s rusty economy. In the absence of such an opportunity to contribute to the economy positively, either partly or wholesomely the knowledge derived from education, it results to a helpless, unfortunate situation referred to as “Unemployment.”

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word ‘Unemployed’ as a state of being without a job though willing and able to work. In Nigeria today, unemployment has bitten off a large chunk of the nation’s readily available manpower, denying hundreds of thousands, mostly graduates, the chances of making their individual expertise felt in the growing economy. A resilient and frustrating issue which has over the years proven to be an unending battle among our leaders, with its ill effects painfully and perpetually felt in all states of the federation, dashing away hopes for a bright future. In a corrupt country like ours where nepotism remains a raging cankerworm, where behind-the-scene selection based on favouritism of applicants occur even before job advertisements or interviews are put up, where palms become well greased before one is considered for a job position, or where the ‘give and take’ act remains the order of the day, the situation indeed has become dire, growing worse each day with no sign of salvaging the situation.

Gone are the good old days when the services of any skilled personnel or graduate, even before graduation, were being desperately sought for in their related field of professionalism by prospective employers, for immediate employment. Now, the case is reversibly different, as it even takes an extreme stroke of luck to find a place for mere Students’ Industrial Attachment programs, left alone full graduate employment. For the few who are currently with jobs, close studies show that a great number of them never studied anything relating to their present profession but resolved to such jobs as a last resort to escape from the clinging claws of frustration, thereby nullifying the purpose and essence of their course of study, depriving that related sector in the economy of their services. That is why it isn’t uncommon to find a qualified engineer in a banking hall attending to customers, or even a bio-chemist, who doesn’t have an inkling of the hospitality business, handling a supervisory role in a hotel. So pathetic and disheartening the situation has become, yet thousands of Youth Corps members nationwide are still being perpetually plunged yearly into the over stretched labour market as helpless job hunters, who sometimes end up being hunted instead by societal ills.

This worrisome unemployment situation in our country has periodically raised questionable eyebrows relating to the overall essence of acquiring formal education. Forgive me, but some uneducated individuals who couldn’t afford the necessities of education but instead ventured into various profit-yielding businesses as an alternative, have today become very successful entrepreneurs, while the story remains so opposite for most boastful degree holders. I once overheard a group of raging youths, perhaps unemployed graduates, angrily blaming and condemning the government for the country’s unemployment state, regarding the acquisition of education as “a mere waste of time.”  Pathetic indeed! But, how did we get so deep into this sorry level? Is towing the line of education in our country indeed an unfruitful venture and a total waste of time? How much more must our able graduates continue to march hopelessly on the streets from offices to offices in search of jobs before crime becomes a last resort? How serious are our leaders towards immediately arresting this ugly trend of unemployment, and what modalities, policies or action plans have being set aside to permanently curb the situation? These and many other questions should come to mind in the bid to turn this pitiable state of the country around and secure the future of our helpless youths.

Enough is enough! Enough of the charade and empty promises concerning job creation embedded in manifestos uttered by desperate politicians! Jobless Nigerian youths are not only getting frustrated, but hungry, tired and embittered that for a country so blessed with abundant riches in the form of human and natural resources, corruption has made the accrued dividends far-fetched for the suffering masses but a readily available honey pot for those at the high echelon of authority. The time for a revolutionary change is now, and it begins with our elected leaders. Nigeria is noted worldwide as a blessed country, let’s therefore not give the world a disappointing impression about our dear nation by washing our dirty linen publicly.


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Christian Voice