Students decry unemployment rate, proffer solution


Nigerian students have expressed worries over the high rate of unemployment in the country. recalls that unemployment Rate in Nigeria averaged 12.84 percent from 2006 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 27.10 percent in the second quarter of 2020 and a record low of 5.10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. This simply connotes that about 21.7 million Nigerians are unemployed.

Several students who spoke to made their displeasure known. They however gave solutions to the increase of unemployment in Nigeria

A 300 level student of Nmandi Azikiwe Uniuversity (UNIZIK) Nduanya Mercy, advised the government to improve employment scheme and look into other areas of study.

“The Government should improve their employment scheme, other areas of studies should be sought out for especially in this new age; copywriting, scripting, digital marketing, content writing and programming on the part of youth can limit over reliance on certificate and our static corrupt government.”

An HND1 student of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Hassan Abdulsalam, blamed the increase in unemployment on the failure of students to acquire necessary skills while on campus

“Students fail to network and learn skills while they are on campus. They only focus on the degree but without these skills, your degree can’t be helpful. The best way to curb unemployment in Nigeria is for students to network with the right people (persons within the same field with experience and exposure) while on campus and learn new skills (Digital and Vocational) to be independent”.

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Ogunbote Mariam, a student of Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic (AAPOLY), pointed out the need for youths and students to create jobs for themselves.

“The rates of unemployment are alarming and at the same time an eye-opener for students. I think one of the major causes is people relying and waiting on someone to create a job avenue for them. I feel youths and students should dedicate their efforts into creating avenues for themselves. Learn a skill, or venture into a business and I am sure unemployment rate will decrease drastically if everyone has that mindset”

Mariam Akosile, a student of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) also advised that people focus on creating jobs, which in return decrease the poverty rate in the country.

“Students are graduating with no hope of getting a job; some who are lucky secure a petty job with low pay. Graduates are more than the available jobs in the country. The best thing is for everyone to be job creators. When you own your business, you will be able to employ more people and the rate of unemployment in the country will decrease”.

An entrepreneur and business expert, Essang Rawlings, opined that entrepreneurship is the solution to unemployment in Nigeria. He said the Nigeria economy will be able to grow if the government provides an enabling environment for small scale business.

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“Nigerians are adjudged as very enterprising people and when they are given an enabling environment to flourish will stimulate the economy through creation of Small and Medium Scale (SME) business units. SMEs play a great role in the economic growth of the country”

“As Entrepreneurship continues to evolve, the local economy is stimulated and grown; this then facilitates employment and lessens the burden of job’s creation on the government. When more people are encouraged to start and manage a business it is tantamount to ensuring that youths are gainfully employed.”

“Furthermore, the government will do well if it provides the requisite social amenities to aid these businesses to succeed by providing electricity, public water and investing in technology, while also ensuring that critical infrastructure are developed such as good road networks”.

“We must continue to push the adoption of critical infrastructure that aid the flourishing of entrepreneurship. Government must ensure that SMEs are supported with grants and loans to help the business thrive. Furthermore, we must encourage investment in technology and innovation in Entrepreneurship”

He however blamed the educational sector for the increase in unemployment.

“Even though the need to create more businesses is evident, many institutions of higher learning still focus on raising employable graduates rather than entrepreneurial ones. So, students typically get into and out of schools with the sole aim of becoming great employees, only to have their dreams shattered, more often than not.”

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“Without the necessary support systems in schools, students who become entrepreneurs have a slim chance of building truly successful businesses. While schools all over the world are developing strong systems to support student entrepreneurs, the typical Nigerian school is still designed for everyone to be full-time students. Student entrepreneurs are frequently perceived as unserious, especially by their lecturers. And not many students can beat the odds and bring their dreams to life in these conditions even if they can dream’ he said

Rawlings advised schools to raise successful students in businesses and create room for students to gain more practical experience.

“Yet, with all the collaborative opportunities that life in a university presents and with advancements in technology, schools should play an active role in raising more successful students in business. This should go beyond taking a mandatory entrepreneurship course that is often boring and taught by inexperienced lecturers”

“Many students need room to experiment and gain practical experience in the area. Nigerian schools must adopt business hubs on campuses, and encourage business incubation and innovations in order to mitigate the many challenges faced by Student entrepreneurs.”

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