Rethinking the unemployment crisis

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Human wants have never needed urgent solutions in any civilization than is happening in our days and bankable ideas that can create possible solutions as well as career opportunities have not been more forthcoming in any age than in the present age. The trouble is not even with contemporary civilization which has done more to turn ideas into realities than any other civilization ever did. It is neither a lack of raw materials, electricity or needed technology.

What the high rate of unemployment in the country today truly depicts is that both the federal, state and local government as well as the private sector lacked the will-power to continue to initiate ideas that are capable of providing solution to the numerous human wants of contemporary existence while providing employment for the unemployed; in the process. As the APC-led government boasts about lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty; it is necessary they understood what job creation required.

Since 2015, Nigeria has witnessed an onslaught against business establishments, under-funding of relevant government agencies responsible for the salaries of many and stringent multiple tax regimes that has compounded the dilemma of the average Nigerian of productive age. Just recently on February 1, the implementation of the new VAT of 7.5% commenced and, you get the impression that even though government wanted to create jobs, it’s policies are destroying the existing ones.

Would it not have made sense if more jobs were created instead of increasing the VAT? This is the reason I urge that government needed to first understand what unemployment was in order to know what job creation entailed. A few years ago, following the inability of the Nigeria Telecommunication (NITEL) to generate returns on investment for government, there became the need to liberalize that sector.

And, it turned out that the liberalization of the sector alone created hundreds of direct jobs as well as thousands of indirect jobs. That was an eye-opener which many believe should guide the government to do an overhaul in agencies like the Nigeria Police, the electricity sector, the transport and the housing sectors. Insecurity today begs for more police personnel and jobs can be created while tackling insecurity.

The housing sector too can generate thousands of direct jobs if government can initiate a property tax designed on the pay-as-the-rate-go basis to compel the greedy that monopolized the sector to relinquish these empty and un-rented properties to tenants. This way, the real estate agents, the solicitors who administer estates, the realtors and street hustlers will be engaged and be able to earn again.

What can the government do to grow the rice industry? A price intervention on rice is urgently required if government would kill smuggling and unlock the potentials of the home-grown brands! You see why government – in my humble opinion – cannot create jobs unless it understood unemployment?

And, if Nigeria’s existence in this age of limitless opportunities still attracted an unfriendly unemployment statistics, what other evidence do we need to show that the employment generator (our mind) in us was sleeping and needed to be urgently awakened?