Home OPINIONS & COLUMNS NIGERIA DIAMOND JUBILEE: THE JOURNEY SO FAR

NIGERIA DIAMOND JUBILEE: THE JOURNEY SO FAR

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By Ebi Dressman

As Nigeria mark her diamond jubilee today as a political entity, we will be looking at her journey so far in few areas.

Today marks the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from British colonial empire.

The atmosphere in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, which is the site that will provide the stage for the dramatic show is already in the celebration mood. President Muhammadu Buhari, will role out the 60 diamond jubilee independence anniversary speech centered on the theme of this year celebration titled: TOGETHER

But, looking around the media space, the commentary on Nigeria’s diamond jubilee has a less triumphant celebration, much like Nigeria’s mixed progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

But according to the theme of this year celebration which is about the country’s success in remaining as a “one indivisble nation” over the past 60 years because since independence, the nation has not broken up despite political and ethnic centrifugal forces pulling her from different angles. Enduring decades of disunity, civil war, and over 30 years of military rule – is no doubt an achievement in itself, but much of the commentary on this year anniversary focuses less on independence and more on its developmental progress.

A recent report has it that the proportion of Nigeria’s population living in less than $1 per day rose from 49% to 77% between 1990 till date.

ActionAid also reported that 26% of Nigerian children are malnourished, and that Nigeria would need until at least 2025 to meet the MDG target to halve child hunger.

For a country endowed with such rich mineral resources and a fertile land and Africa’s largest oil reserves, it should be doing much better than where we are now. On this note, many public commentators are demanding that Nigerian leadership should give its citizens better reasons to celebrate this year independent day.

The economic growth of a nation is no doubt dependent on the availability of functional infrastructures such as energy, roads, railways, water supply, education and a host of other amenities that converge to provide the required environment for the free flow of goods and services across the length and breath of the nation.

Since the inception of democratic dispensation, a lot has been said about the need to regenerate the economy and reposition the country in the fast emerging new order of globalization. This, prompted both past and present government set out to achieve by setting up a host of agencies charged with the responsibility of creating and funding small and medium scale enterprises as the bedrock of the new economic regeneration as well as the privatization of public enterprises for effectiveness and productivity. The idea behind this policy thrust of both past and present government is quite commendable and worth supporting, but the intriguing thing is the fact that in the actualization of this laudable initiative, the cart seem to have been placed before the horse. For all we know, this is a misnomer and will only result in the birth of a malformed child whose future is destined for doom before delivery.

CORRUPTION

Corruption has been identified as one of the major problem the Nigerian society has conginued to contend with over the years. Corruption has lower government effectiveness, weak investment and it has also affected human capital development especially the citizens from gaining access to social amenities. Corruption has depleted the nation economic growth.

Corrupt practices are been carried out by individuals, both government and none government officials but on most occasions, executed by an elaborate syndicates that includes contractors, architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, consultants to government officials, corporate executives and other players in the larger society.

Infrastructural decay is due to official corruption that is now rooted deep in the fabrics of the larger society. Public infrastructural assets would create sustainable long-term employment and poverty reduction if the will is there to maintain and build more public infrastructure.

According BudgIT Nigeria, Federal Government loses about $8.3billion to illegal movements of funds between countries annually – an amount that could potentially create over 200,000 new jobs. And most of these looting are done via anonymous shell companies and beneficial ownership loopholes.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s most populous nation with either a growing or declining economy, but majority of her citizens has also continued to suffered a high rate of unemployment challenge.

In the country, nearly a quarter of the population is either out of work while 27.1% is underemployed and this situation has not only become a great challenge to the Nigerian economy but it has also put a constraint on the economic growth of the country.

Degree certificate has become worthless in our nation. Few employment opportunities are only open to relations of high ranking government officials, without considering the personal level of qualifications.

This is why many unemployed persons are depressed and unhappy, especially when they have to stay at home with no hope of getting their dream job.

This has also led many of our youths to ventured into what is known as Yahoo Yahoo (internet fraud) and other social vices which has become the order of the day.

THE STATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT

According to Unemployment Report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Unemployment rate is increasing because Government’s activities to create jobs is not enough, is not sustained & overall, ineffective.

According to the report;

1⃣ 21.8 million Nigerians are unemployed representing 27.1%.

2⃣ 12.2million females are unemployed representing 22.9%

3⃣ 9.6million males are unemployed representing 31.6%

4⃣ 40.8% Nigerians between the age bracket of 15 – 24 years are unemployment.

Breaking down of unemployment numbers across the Geo-political zones.

🚻 North West currently has the highest people who are unemployed.

1⃣ North-Central – 3.52million
2⃣ North-West – 4.53million
3⃣ North-East – 2.58million

1⃣ South-South – 1.42million
2⃣ Sour-East – 1.14million
3⃣ South-West – 1.71million

🚻 Rivers State has the highest number of
unemployed.

1⃣ Rivers – 1.71million
2⃣ Kano – 1.42million
3⃣ Kaduna – 1.34million
4⃣ Lagos – 1.33million
5⃣ Imo – 1.21million
6⃣ Akwa-Ibom – 1.14million
7⃣ Delta – 1.01million
8⃣ Niger – 707.6

THE URBAN – RURAL AREAS

The Rural areas are high focused points of unemployed.

Urban – 7.25million representing 25.4%
Rural – 14.5million representing 28.0%

According to Labour Force statistics by Q2 2020, Unemployment & Under-employment is now 27.1% and 28.6% respectively.

According to the report,

Un-Employment rose from 22.1% in Q2 2018 and 23.1% in Q3 2018 to 27.1% in Q2 2020.

Under-Employment rate rose from 20.1% in Q2 2018 and 20.1% in Q3 2018 to 28.6% in Q2 2020.

Unemployed Nigerians by Qualification

1⃣ PhD: 17,831
2⃣ Masters: 119,513
3⃣ Bachelors: 2,844,811
4⃣ Diploma: 2,009,014
5⃣ O-Level: 8,135,050
6⃣ Vocational: 50,367

Under-Employed Nigerians

1⃣ Junior Secondary: 1,344,603
2⃣ Primary: 3,179,040
3⃣ Below Primary: 39,635
4⃣ No Qualification: 3,733,194
5⃣ Others: 291,560

⚫ 10.3million Out of school children is a result of the poor Educational system in Nigeria.

How do we inspire the younger generation that Education is the key to SUCCESS?

This tell the stories of the State of Unemployment in Nigeria.

The failure of the public policies directed at solving unemployment includes poor finances, the absence of good implementation, inconsistent policies, unimpressive responses from would-be trainees, and unqualified resource personnel handling the training programs.

To put an end to this unemployment saga, government need to put in place strong institutional frame work with a more robust and stronger implementation.

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