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Youth restiveness and unemployment – The way out (part 3)


Every year, over 300,000 graduates are churned out from the tertiary institutions nationwide. This number grows yearly and translates into more and more unemployed people littering the streets of Nigerian cities. Below are some of the effects of unemployment in Nigeria.

Mental health: Mental health problems like: Law self-confidence, feeling unworthy, depression and hopelessness. With the lost income and the frustration involved in it, the recently unemployed may develop negative attitudes toward common things in life and may feel that all sense of purpose is lost. Frequent emotions could be – low self-esteem, inadequateness and feeling dejected and hopeless.

Health diseases: The unemployment overall tension can increase dramatically general health issues of individuals.
Tension at home: Quarrels and arguments at home front which may lead to tension and increased numbers of divorces etc.

Political issues: Loss of trust in administration and the government which may lead to political instability

Tension over taxes rise: Unemployment also brings up discontent and frustration amongst the tax paying citizens. In order to meet the demands of the unemployment fund the government many a times may have to increase the taxes thus giving way to restlessness amongst the tax paying citizens.

Crime and violence: Increase in the rate of crime in the society
Suicide cases: Increase in the rate of suicide attempts and actual suicides as well.
Stigma: Unemployment brings with more than just ‘no work’. It also brings with it the disgrace that the person has to bear. Nobody likes to be termed as unemployed.

Employment gaps: To further complicate the situation the longer the individual is out of job the more difficult it becomes to find one. Employers find employment gasps as a negative aspect. No one wants to hire a person who has been out of work for some time even when there’s no fault of the individual per say.

Lose of skills’ usage: The unemployed is not able to put his/her skills to use. And in a situation where it goes on for too long the person may have to lose some of his/her skills.

It is the duty and responsibility of the government and different policy makers to provide such an environment and conditions which are conducive for the youth entrepreneurial activities. Different policy initiatives encourage and motivate young people to come up with new ideas and start their own youth enterprises.

This will first reduce the incidence of unemployment to a great extent and as such would have dealt a massive blow to the problem of youth restiveness.

To do this effectively, the policymakers need to realize that alone public spending is not going to contribute towards the welfare of the youth. It is the policies of the states that must be created in a way that will help to stimulate the younger people as well as their parents and communities to invest in themselves.

The main essence of implementing youth friendly policies is they are not as costly as direct investments but require a lot of political trade-off to actually implement the policies so that they benefit each and every young person living in the country.

According to The Next Generation Nigeria report, Nigeria’s future is at a time of rapid economic, demographic and social change.  The report states that Nigeria stands on the threshold of what could be the greatest transformation in its history – with population growth slowing, and its ‘baby boom’ generation entering the workforce. By 2030, it will be one of the few countries in the world with young workers in plentiful supply.

The benefits of this to Nigeria are clear, according to the report: If the country continues with recent economic growth, improves education and health standards, and creates jobs, the average Nigerian could be 3 times richer by 2030 – and over 30 million people will be lifted out of poverty.

But the risks are as great as the opportunities: If Nigeria fails to plan for its next generation, it faces ethnic and religious conflict and radicalization, as a result of growing numbers of young people frustrated by a lack of jobs and opportunities.

Nigeria needs to create 25 million jobs over the next ten years – and move its focus away from oil, which contributes 40% to national GDP, but only employs 0.15% of the population.


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