I heard there was a mild drama at the national assembly recently when a senator from the opposition party moved a motion that the presidency should as a matter of urgency fulfill the promise his party made during the election campaigns which brought him into the seat of power, that they will pay
N5,000 monthly to unemployed Nigerian youths; a motion quickly
countered by the senators of the ruling party who are the majority in the
house. Reading the story of how it all went down in the house got me thinking
and worried. I wondered if the senator who raised the motion did so with
genuine interest for the unemployed Nigerian youths, or was it just one of
their politicking strategy to put some pressure on the ruling party, the kind
of pressure that will win the heart of the majority of the general populace,
since they are the one mostly affected by the unemployment menace in the
I thank God for the employment I have presently… but if I were to be unemployed and the government pays me a monthly stipend of
what real impact will that have in my life? …I thought to myself. I shared my
thought on this with a friend and he thinks it will go a long way. At our level
(my friend and I), I felt disappointed at his line of thought but forgave him,
maybe he probably has not given it a critical thought, hoping when he does, he
would change perception later.
N5,000 supposed to be a reward for being
unemployed? It is not even up to our minimum wage. Just imagine after receiving
alawee (of nearly 20,000) as a Corps member for 12 months (in NYSC), and hoping
to upgrade, the opposite becomes the case. I start receiving N5,ooo from the same government, that will
My point is that it doesn’t make sense to me at all. Let’s do some analysis together, not based on absolute fact o, but can relate well with the Nigerian situation:
· Nigeria has a population of 150 million people (obviously, it is more).
· 80 million of this Nigerian population are youths
· 70% of the Nigerian youths are ether unemployed or underemployed, ie. 56 million Nigerian youths.
· Now imagine
N5,000 given to each
of these 56 million unemployed Nigerian youths monthly, the government will
have to cough out 280 Billion Naira every month for this… You can check again in
case I don’t get my calculations correctly; my maths has become very rusty over
· How will the government sustain this? Shouldn't the money be channeled into creating jobs for the people instead?
…and we still have youths in their thousands emerging from our universities every year to join this clutch of uncertainty and somewhat hopelessness that seemingly awaits them. Pheeew! Ok, back to why I did this post. The state of joblessness of our youth population is alarming and you don’t need to be told that it is one of the root causes for youth restiveness here and there, and the high rate of crime among young people.
I love the Nigerian youth. We are industrious and have this never say die attitude. All we need is a positive influence and the right push. If only we get a little support from our government and those well-to-do members of our community, if only…? I am wondering very much like I always do what this present government will do to ameliorate the situation. I hope it doesn’t go on and on being as usual, a political agenda to be used to score cheap points to aid selfish ambitions. I hope that the mantra of change which keeps resounding in the present government stimulate the needful to create jobs for the youths, and even more, encourage the private sector to assist in job creations - government cannot do it alone.
About encouraging the private sector, immediately I recall the GIS (Graduate Internship Scheme) programme that was on in the last government and I think it was and still is one of the best ideas so far that has come from the government in encouraging the private sectors, especially Small & Medium Scale Entrepreneurs (SMEs) to really assist the government in job creation for the youth. I once wrote about how it works when it was still on and I was a beneficiary… [Read it here] So I speak based on first-hand experience, noting that it was not fake, neither was it a scam. This does not mean that GIS which is a unit of SURE-P was entirely devoid of hitches, of course you and I know the typical Nigerian story when it comes to governmental programmes of this magnitude and how they all start well, until misappropriations and mismanagement sets in the handling of funds and other resources set aside for the programme… you remember NAPEP right?
I urge the present government to do something quick about this unemployment issue. I strongly suggest that they look into the blueprint of the GIS and implement it, check for and block all loop holes so that funds budgeted for it can be optimally utilized without being misappropriated. I really wish the GIS was not stopped because I know it helped a lot of youth at the time, I am one. I frown at the idea of sharing
N5,000 to youths for being jobless... give us jobs, let's deserve our earnings.
I can’t believe I wrote this much. I am sorry for making you read my long epistle on this. I had to write because I am passionate about this agenda hoping that the present situation would improve for the sake of the greatest of the greatest Nigerian youth, my sake and the nation at large.
God bless Nigeria.