YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT: A LOOMING, OMINOUSLY, HUMANITARIAN, CATASTROPHE!

NWANKWO PRINCE

(Chief Executive: Prince Tech. Foundation)

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT:

A LOOMING, OMINOUSLY, HUMANITARIAN, CATASTROPHE!

Different institutions of higher learning throughout the country have continued to turn out into the labour market, thousands of job seekers who roam the streets in search of non- existing jobs, this is pathetic because those that are supposed to be an asset to the society has turned out to constitute a social nuisance and liability.

A few decades ago, possessing a secondary school certificate guarantees one a job almost anywhere in this country. As a matter of fact, such people were actually celebrated. Unfortunately, we do not live in that era anymore. It is a known fact that among the thousands of graduates that are churned out every year from our tertiary institutions, over 75% of them would remain unemployed after the first two years and about 50% of those who have jobs would be underemployed.

As pathetic as this may sound, it has become a normal thing to find thousands of unemployed graduates jumping from one job interview to another after several years of graduation from the higher institution. I personally have seen over 8,000 graduates respond to a job with provision for just 10 people. These are people who went to school with the hope of coming out and getting a decent job somewhere only to face an entirely different reality or scenario. Suddenly they begin to feel like ‘‘Lame Ducks’’, hopeless and helpless, not certain about what the future holds for them, or where to cast their net in the ocean of life. Eventually, out of anxiety and frustration, some of these people begin to look for all kinds of ‘‘get rich quick’’ avenue like; Robbery, Prostitution, Kidnapping, etc just to survive.

There is a looming, ominously, humanitarian, catastrophe! And the time to act is now. What is the essence of sending out thousands of graduates each year who are ill-prepared to succeed in life? Why are there so many young unemployed people roaming the streets of Nigeria?

It is because our educational system does not teach people (early enough) the value of owing a business of their own and how to nurture that business to success through apprenticeship with successful small business owners. The misunderstood or neglected truth is that graduation is not a guarantee of employment as academic ‘‘meal ticket’’ generally known as certificate is not as important as your skills, versatility, proficiency and diligence. Of course, certificates are marketable commodities and can often get you an invitation for an interview and probably a job, but the real concern of job employers of today is your employability.

THE SOLUTION:

  • Make vocational studies a compulsory part of the education curriculum. Yes, teach young people how to start a small business early in their growing years.
  • Get more people passionate about starting a small business (of their own) as they are passionate about working for oil companies and other multinational companies in Nigeria.
  • Help young people understand the financially liberating power of starting a business (of their own), and get them tuned in that direction.

GUESS WHAT:

When they grow up, they will become business oriented, and the more business oriented young people we have in Nigeria, the more small businesses we will see spring up. Moreover, smaller businesses equal more jobs for those of the population comfortable with being employees rather than being the employers. Fostering a robust entrepreneurial culture will maximize individual and collective economic and social success on a local, national, and global scale.

Many students’ desire to live a comfortable life after school, but few makes preparation for the challenges involved. Those in such situations often get disappointed and learn by hard experience that graduating with good grades is not in itself a guarantee of a decent job with a robust pay. There is therefore the need for every student to embark on a voyage of concerted self development: nurturing of the head, training of the hand and building of the mind.

My sincere advice is that: rather than being from – company – to – company job seeker, you should learn and strive to engage in business ventures to secure financial autonomy and freedom that would enable you compete in this increasingly competitive global economy, and the best time to start is while in school. Higher education should not be a precondition/prerequisite to economic pursuit; both should be complementary.

Each person has an innate, unique set of talents and super abilities which he/she can monetise with ease. Develop those talents today and stand out as an agent of change (be a solution provider and not a part of the problem to be solved).

The strength of a nation is the power of individual character. America is what it is because of world class entrepreneurs that are there: Bill gate of Microsoft, Steve Job of Apple, Larry Ellison of Oracle, among others. For every serious minded youth, I will [advise] them to take up to entrepreneurship; we must think outside the white-collar job and look inside. Relying too heavily on the government is not and can never be 1    the solution. Everybody is blaming the government, we should stop doing that. We are all responsible for the current situation and misfortune, because every man is the architect of his problem.

I encourage youths to be creative and innovative. Create something out of your passion, and start pushing it forward. Our forefathers were not educated, but they were able to survive because they never relied on education or the government to provide everything for them (as we do today). This made them innovation.

To tackle unemployment, it is about going back to the basics. Youths need to be innovative, creative, and analytical at all times irrespective of surrounding circumstances. Opportunity abounds everywhere in this country; as a matter of fact, people can literally pick money on the roadside of every Nigerian street. YES; so if your pockets are empty, do not blame the government or your parents, ask your hands why. Diversification is the key so that at the end of the day, one can count different means of income. Do not leave something at the floor for long, because another man may pick it ­– Prince.

“Any entrepreneur that dreams to be successful must have four eyes; two eyes for seeing what an ordinary person could see, and the other two eyes for locating boundless business opportunities that scattered along life’s highways, which may not be noticeable to an ordinary person” – Prince.

‘‘Diligence, Discipline, Determination, Commitment, Persistence and Hard Work had helped me drive my objectives to the end point of result’’ — Prince.

Remember: Your success in life is not an option; it is a must! – See you at the top!

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