It is no longer news in Nigeria that over one million unemployed youths are readily applying for jobs where less than five thousand people are needed. The country is in the verge of revolution which undoubtedly will be triggered by this terrible economic menace called unemployment. However, this is a country that is always creating millions of jobs every year and the year 2013 is not an exception as Mr. President Goodluck said: “We created 1.6 million jobs in 2013,” could all this be political propaganda? Because employment rate unabatedly soars every second that passes in Nigeria.
JF Kennedy said in his inaugural speech in 1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” but in the same speech he also said, “We can not assure the security of the few rich Americans if we can not provide for the basic needs of the poor among us.” The resilient Nigerian youths might get tired of this perseverance someday and go berserk if something is not quickly done to address this time bomb we are all sitting on. There are graduates who have left higher institutions for over ten years without a job and their parents sold their only wrapper and pairs of shoes to train them with the high hope that someday my son or daughter will come and take me out of this abject poverty but here we are as hope is smashed on the wall.
Unarguably, graduates are reduced to mere tools in the hands of politicians and industrialists in Nigeria. No wonder, a scholar, Galtung in the field of political science described capitalism in Africa, “As the worse form of alienated individualism.” The politicians can easily recruit youths as political thugs with their economic power and the industrialists who have employed our few Nigerian youths see them as their property that could be used the way they like because they can always capitalise on the fact that, there is no job out there. I am speaking from experience readers not hear-say.
Let me go academic a little, to ascertain if we are a developing or underdeveloped economy and to also ascertain the fate of underdeveloped economies. Dudley Seers (1972:2-6), analysing development is important in its emphasis on equality as well as growth; Seers suggested that, the state of development can be assessed by asking, “What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? And the development must encompass economic growth, employment and social justice.” Development in Nigeria is not a topic to be discussed as it is a ‘dark topic’ and darkness is not a topic of discussion but if underdevelopment is to be discussed I think it will be easier to traverse the devastated Ogoni land through to the poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, diseases etc that have devastated the lives of Nigerians beyond repairs.
Critically looking at Nigeria, malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy, diseases, and joblessness are still prevalent which proves Nigeria is an underdeveloped nation. Robert McNamara (1973:16-17), relative poverty, means the difference in the level of affluence between two countries or citizens of one country and another on the other hand, absolute poverty- a condition that is prevalent in less developed countries- is a situation where citizens’ condition of life is degraded by illiteracy, malnutrition, disease and squalor as to deny them the attainment of their genetic potentials and in Nigeria over 75% of the citizens are living below 1 dollar per day while the microscopic few kleptocrats living in corridor of power cart away our money in billions of dollars. For how long are we going to continue in this self-afflicted poverty and underdevelopment? This is a country where impunity is being celebrated, a country where public officials steal without any trace of repentance, nobody is punished and nobody is jailed.
Goodluck Jonathan is giving us an option to throw him out of power with our votes because this can not continue forever. Of course, there has been corruption in Nigeria before Jonathan came to power but what has he done to curb it? Or could it be that the media is blowing the issue of corruption beyond proportion? Yesterday, it was Stella Oduah. Today, it is Allison Madueke. Jonathan, see something, say something and do something or you want to give us an option come 2015.
Having said this, let me in my own little knowledge proffer solutions to this unemployment, and I pray Mr. President would do them:
· Garner the political will to fight corruption. Probably you don’t know you are the president but I’m reminding you that, you are the president of Nigeria. Assert your authority on corruption and fight it otherwise, it means you are an apostle of corruption.
· SURE-P promises are not seen let alone felt by the poor masses. Mr. President, go back to the promises you made to us in 2012.
· YOUWIN programme is good but the few selected cronies are the ones receiving this money and it is never invested. Give this money to at least 30,000 Nigerians who truly need this money and see how employment will be generated. Like some of us, the business plan we have can employ 80 people in a year and more subsequently. Instead of all of us struggling to get immigration jobs and dying in the process.
· Nigeria is a mono-cultural economy. Mr. President, there is need for economic diversification. In the backyard of my mother if a seed of corn should mistakenly fall, come back and harvest in the next three months, which is to tell you how fertile is the Nigerian soil. How are we making use of the arable farm land? Or has the oil money blinded Nigeria?
· Mr. President, please resuscitate Ajaokuta steel company.
· Mr. President, please fix our electricity. The power supply is too epileptic and erratic to the level that it hampers self-employment and invariably, national development.
· The capital expenditure in our budget should be increased so that we can witness meaningful development.
· A country can not develop if she continues to spend huge amounts on government officials. It’s high time we reduced government spending in Nigeria.
· Government should start being involvied in social welfarism of the citizens by building massive housing scheme.
· Mr. President, as an educationist before becoming president I think you know the best to do to our education that is in a state of shambles and mess. Please sir, education is the basis of any strong economy, give us real education that is ICT based. Ensure that the 26% of UNESCO is released every year and is properly spent so that we can start the journey. It’s a long term investment.
NB: Mr. President, failure to do these things, you cease to be our president come 2015. Be rest assured we will vote you out.
Osobu Suuru Alexander
The author of the book titled:
‘Tomorrow Will Never Cease’
08033819701 or [email protected]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters