NEPOTISM, THE CANON OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN NIGERIA
A nation where nepotism and favoritism thrives is just on its way to an island of collapse. If as a country, attention is not paid to having the right persons at the appropriate offices, the wrong results are inevitable. If nepotism, tribalism as well as favoritism are the three major canon of a nation, well, the end point of such country is engraved in the sky for all to see.
The unemployment rate of Nigeria as a country is increasing by the day. According to Trading Economics, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is currently pegged at 18.8 percent. Making the persistent increase in the rate of unemployed persons evident for all to see, the youth unemployment also increased to 33.10 percent.
This is coming after the rate rose for the seventh straight quarters to 13.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016 from 13.3 percent in the previous period, and, being the highest level since 2009. As the number of unemployed rose by 5.2 percent to 11.2 million, employment rose at a much slower rate of 0.6 percent to 69.5 million and the labour force increased by 1 percent to 80.7 million. Meanwhile youth unemployment rate increased to 25 percent from 24 percent in the previous period. A year earlier unemployment rate was recorded at 9.9 percent.
When unemployment is mentioned, of course, it is a pointer to the rate of inflation in any country. Because it is one of the causes of inflation and inflation affects adversely, the standard of living of the country. No wonder many are complaining about the current minimum wage of the country. Going by the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in a comparison made between April, 2016 and April, 2017, it vividly shows that inflation is also moving up just as unemployment rate is moving.
One may be forced to ask, what are the possible causes of unemployment in Nigeria? First, unemployment can be caused by low production rate of a country. A country that consumes more than it produces will always have high unemployment rate-Nigeria is not an exemption. Given that majority of the things consumed in Nigeria are imported, unemployment can’t but be a part of the problems we will keep nursing.
It is not wrong also to say that, our biggest problem regarding unemployment is political. Most of our politicians are self-centered and they are only particular about their pockets. This among other things hamper on the growth that should have been evident in the manufacturing sector of Nigeria.
Nigeria as a multi-ethnic country, exhibits a trait that is capable of crumbling her economic structures if nothing is done within the shortest time possible. This cankerworm is nepotism. Most of the political leaders influence employment process with their different lists sent to government agencies and parastatals in favour of their wards, family members and friends. This has not yield much results so far as each sector of the country is depleting in output per day simply because those at the helms of affair are not capable.
To salvage the situation in Nigeria, there is need to pay urgent attention to production. The reason is not far-fetched. Most developing nations like Nigeria, as well as, underdeveloped nations of the world are well known for their production of primary products which has been the main stay of their economy in recent past, note worthy however that, most developed nations who used to patronize these developing nations have developed alternative means of getting these products and if care is not taken, a little time from now most developing nations will be so indebted to the world powers which will ultimately leads to another form of colonialism.
Isn’t it madness to sell primary products to developed nations only to approach them thereafter to purchase the finished products made from them? African leaders have misplaced priorities that are informed by their incurable desire for perpetual greed. As much as the black nation is blessed with natural resources and human resources, to properly harness these gifts has been the major problem.
To overcome the major problems of unemployment, virtually all the sectors of the nation have to be reviewed. For instance, the education sector has a great deal of influence on the employability of the youths, the manufacturing sector is also very key as this will engage a sizable number of unemployed individuals.
It is also sacrosanct for the federal government of Nigeria to invest massively in Information Technology. Most developed nations have treated their technological knowledge as a ritual they do not joke with. We should also ensure that round pegs are put into round holes and not the other way round.
There is need to look away from individual interests and embrace the greater good of all. Our leaders should move from the era of politicizing everything and be realistic in their policies. They should also shun the habit of appointing people based on favours, religious affinities, gender, ethnic divide or any other factors that may impede fairness and justice.
The solution to the hydra-headed problems of Nigeria among other black nations would be to embrace an uncompromising habit of justice, fairness and equal treatment of all. With these in place Nigeria will gradually break from the shackles of corruption, and backwardness and be ranked among the comity of nations that thrives in their economy.
Emmanuel Oyebade I