‘Poor electricity, corruption, others triggering unemployment’
Epileptic power supply, corruption, religious and ethnic sentiments, as well as undeveloped government sectors, among others, have been pointed out as factors contributing to unemployment in the country.
Experts have, however, warned that if these vices and other issues facing the country are not addressed on time, it will lead to uncertainty in the labour market, as well as erosion of human capital and social instability in Nigeria.
They made the submission at the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) of Lagos, 58th yearly general meeting (AGM), with the theme: “Unemployment and its Impact on Nigeria’s Economic and Social Growth.”
The Chairman, Body of Trustees, YMCA of Lagos, Abiodun Adeniji, said the epileptic power supply in the country has made industries downsize their staff strength, while some have liquidated, as they can no longer continue operating in the harsh environment.
Adeniji noted that corruption has limited the flow of funds to agencies for the engagement of industries to boost productivity, as the money ends up in one person’s purse.
He also added that religious and ethnic sentiments are other factors contributing to unemployment in the country, noting that many government establishments do not offer employment due to the language barrier.
“The government and corporate organisations need to take unemployment seriously so that the rate will go down.
“The banks, which used to give employment to many young graduates before, have now retrenched them because of unfavourable government policies, which is contributing to the unsustainability of staff,” he said.
The guest speaker, who is the Director, Financial Literacy for All Africa, Omolaja Shoniran, stressed the need for individuals, corporate bodies, non-governmental organisations and the government to play their parts in ensuring the incidence of high unemployment is reduced in the country.
He listed the causes of unemployment in Nigeria to include, slow economic growth, lack of useful skills by job seekers, outdated academic curriculum, lack of government establishment expansion, retirement policies, unfavourable environment for entrepreneurship and population explosion.
These, he said, would lead to loss of livelihood, identity and self-esteem, increased stress from family and social pressures, social exclusion, crime and youth restiveness in the country.
He said to reduce the levels of unemployment in the country, the government should review fiscal policies, encourage the agricultural sector, fix dilapidating infrastructure, change university/education curriculum to keep up with the current trend, train more entrepreneurs and encourage apprenticeship schemes.
Shoniran said corporate organisations should on their part, provide letters of recommendation to laid-off staff, especially, when the cause is not poor performance or unprofessional behaviour, as well as carry out free professional training under its corporate social responsibility initiatives.
He also urged corporate organisations to reduce their entry-level requirements in the area of experience, as well as organisations to create and support recreational facilities that could help young people discover their talents.
Speaking earlier, the President, of YMCA of Lagos, Dr Chris Ogunbanjo, said the theme of the event is apt, especially with the high rate of poverty in Nigeria that has now made the country to be described as the poverty Capital of the World.
He said the unemployment figure was soaring above 30 per cent when the tolerable rate for any nation is expected to be between four and six per cent.
Ogunbanjo said this is coupled with the fact that Nigeria has a huge youth population that is more than the size of many African countries combined, which should be a major source of concern to any well-meaning citizen.