Unemployment can be defined as state of being jobless. An unemployed person is one who is searching for job, ready and available to work, but cannot find it.
Nigeria is not the only country grappling with the challenges of unemployment particularly among her teeming youths and graduates, other countries both third world, developing and advanced are as well in this boat as she is. In Nigeria, the situation has led to the establishment of such bodies as; National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Directorate of Employment and others. As sound as these bodies’ policies and programmes are, not much has been achieved in terms of comprehensive and exhaustive job creation and employment.
It is no longer uncommon to see unemployed persons besieging cyber cafes in search of job opportunity on the internet. Some who do not have the financial muscle to spend hours at the café, trek kilometres of road visiting government owned and private organizations with their hand written application letters and qualification for enquiries for available employment opportunities, all to no avail.
In the same vein, those who have exposed themselves to series of interviews with assurances from their interviewers that they would be contacted in no distant time have continued to wait in vain. It is even more disheartening for one to pass an interview, whether it is written or oral and to discover that one’s position has been taken by another person. This circumstance is the lots of many job seekers who do not have connection with “the powers that be” in an organization be it public or private. It is at this point that a few job seekers view their chances of securing employment as “bleak”, then frustration and despondency will set in. It is also at this point that negative thoughts will infiltrate their minds.
Many a job seeker may know how some purported paramilitary recruits who gained employment in the time past or recently were able to make it. Applicants who paid allegedly N150, 000 – N300, 000 to some top paramilitary officers are counting their losses. This is because the top paramilitary agents were not able to pull a string on their behalf. It was purportedly ministers’ and other top ranking politicians’ candidates whose names were short listed for training. The alleged payment of thousands of naira in Delta State recently by job seekers in the state to secure employment which is under investigation demonstrate the bleak chance indigent job hunters have and the extent bribery and corruption has enveloped Nigeria.
In a circumstance of this nature, what becomes the future and fate of indigent applicants who do not know or have connection with a minister or a strong politician who can wield enormous influence for them? Only God knows.
Consequently many job seekers, who cannot bear the pangs of poverty and hunger, after fruitless years of job hunt, become ready tools in the hands of politicians who equip them with guns and use same to perpetrate crime during political campaigns and elections to actualize their paymaster’s selfish political ambition.
I still recall how some alleged state government called on people whom guns were given to, to return them after 1999 and 2003 elections were over. But were the guns returned? Your guess is good as mine. Such guns no doubt have found their way into the hands of those who ought not to have them. What more? They use guns to rob, kidnap and assassinate.
The rate of crime which is on the increase can be attributed to joblessness among other factors. One who has been privy to the confessions of armed robbers will concur with me that majority of them are driven into life of crime because of not having anything to do. It is high time the powers that be; politicians, ministers and bosses of both public and private organizations stopped using their position to favour the employment of those who grease their palms, close relations, political associates’ friend or children etc. to the detriment of people who merited to occupy such positions base on merit and ability to contribute meaningfully to growth of the organization. They should employ those who did excellently well in both their written and oral interviews.
The creation of employment opportunities should not be left in the hands of government only; the private sector should also take part in reducing the rate of unemployment by investing in key sectors of the economy.
The likes of Alhaji Alinko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Orji Uzor Kalu, Prince Tonye Princewill and others too many to mention that have contributed in no mean measure towards employing a lot of graduates through various investment ideas should be emulated by others who have the financial clout to setup private companies that will serve as avenue for the creation of more jobs for the unemployed.
It is when this is done that crime associated with joblessness will be reduced.
Nwaorgu Faustinus wrote in from Port Harcourt. Email: