Tom Garba, Yola
Prof Yakub Abdalla, a Researcher in Cambridge United Kingdom, says there is a terrifying high level of youth unemployment in Nigeria that requires urgent attention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Abdalla expressed worries that previous government came up with templates and methods of curbing mass unemployment but the deliveries were marred by massive lack of sense of direction and control.
He revealed that high level of Youth unemployment can be seen in almost all MDAs, agencies, commissions and parastatals of state and Federal governments.
According to him, he has seen documents so far there are minimal isolation or intervention on the vast majority of the unemployed Youths.
He asserted that the Youth make up more than 50% of Nigeria’s population and over 70% of the unemployment figures.
” Let us look at some of the current statistics; Presently Nigeria has about 256 accredited universities. 50 of those are Federal Universities, 61 State Universities, and a massive 148 Private Universities. During the 2018 – 2019 sessions, Nigerian Universities had well over 2 million undergraduates. And there are no statistics yet for 2022 – 2023 sessions.
“University of Maiduguri alone has over 75,000 students. What would you think the statistics will be for University of Ibadan, ABU Zaria, or UNN, assuming there is a 25% increase across board for 2022 – 2023 session, our universities will have at least 2.5 million undergraduates; out of which at least 1.8million are youths.
“Presently Nigeria has 37 Federal Polytechnics, 51 State Polytechnics, and 64 Private Universities. And Presently Nigeria has about 205 accredited Colleges of Education.
“The above does not include Open University of Nigeria and 14 Distance learning Centres. The above does not included training centres that take on youths massively such as colleges of Agriculture, nursing and other health sciences.” Abdalla said
Abdalla in a statement made available to our Yola correspondent said his submission does not even include those that could not continue their education after post primary or primary schools.
He worried that his assertion has place the country to have more than 100 million Youth of which more than 50 million are unemployed.
“Now we can see where IPOB, Niger Delta, Boko Haran, Kidnappers, Bandits, Cybercrime, 419ers etc. are emanating from. And for as long as we do not watch our youth unemployment figures we shall continue to see increased resistivity because 99% of these resistances are unemployment related. I am yet to see a gainfully employed person whether in the private or public sector that has taken up guns and gone to the bush or creeks.
“We are facing real security challenge, and I hope the new government of PBAT sees that.
“There are Youth who graduated genuinely. They have the qualifications but there is nobody to help them through the processes of getting a job. Our society had become a case of who you know, and not what you know. They are in the job market.
“There are many youths that only passed through the institutions. They did not graduate, rather they were graduated. They cannot construct proper sentence nor able to express themselves in simple English. Many are still illiterates in the real sense of it. They are in the jobs market.
“There are youths that have the ability to make a difference. They can create jobs for others as well, but are not supported. There is no one to help them with business plans, loans management, or access to finance. They are in the job market too.
“Given the opportunity to make brisk money therefore all the above categories will go for it. Most of the avenues for making brisk money including cyber-crimes, gun running, kidnapping, etc are very risky. For them to overcome the fears that are associated with these risks they turn to drugs and diabolical nonsenses.” he said
Abdalla further said that; “the cocktail of drugs and risk taking leads to formation of violent groups, as we see today. If these groups decide to transcend their own boundaries and borders then there will be massive resistance that no nation can manage. We can point to several examples in the recent years including end sars, destructions during the palliatives, illegal refineries and bunkering, IPOB, Boko Haram, Bandits etc.
“I therefore call for the State of Emergency with 5 years implementation with the need to re-visit NYSC and make sure that all NYSC members go through life-skills acquisition training with proven certifications before graduation.
“The life-skills training could replace the Community Development projects that they do, or in addition to. And all NYSC members must be geo-located in their areas of assignment, rather than the corruptions taking place at the moment.
“All those who wish to take up entrepreneurship after NYSC should be supported for apprenticeship in any part of the country, Funds should be made available to support organisations willing to take up young people for apprenticeship. And there should be genuine access to finance mechanism for such organisations and their graduates. The current MSMEs funds does not reach the right people especially the youths.
“Implement the Mass employment strategy as outlined in the template released by CBN in 2018. We made available field surveys that prove viability, Implement the strategy and template as released by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and NYSC for youth development, and account for the N4 billion that was released for that purpose. And Setup MSMEs bank that will give access to finance cooperatives and credit unions. The finances should be security by cooperatives assets. This will drive processes in the unbanked society as well.
“The above are some steps that can be implemented, and the steps should heavily involve the youths in the implementation. There would be a short term, medium, and longer term implementation plans.
“I am sure these will achieve unprecedented levels of youths engagement, raise commercial income generation in the nation, and bring down resistive actions to the minimum.
I hope the present youth friendly government will consider this matter seriously because the current situation has serious security implications. These will address acute shortage of high skilled manpower that is unevenly distributed, woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural facilities, and housing.”