Dr. Chris Ngige: Unemployment and poverty on steady growth
Last year the federal government warned that Nigeria’s unemployment rate would reach 33.5 per cent by 2020. That warning was made on May 2, 2019.
As I write this we are already in March 2020 and counting. The federal government’s alarm was raised by none other than the minister saddled with the responsibility of generating employment and ensuring general labour harmony in the country.
It was Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, that raised the alarm while declaring open a two-day workshop on “Breaking the Resilience of High Unemployment Rate in the Country”, in Abuja, last year.
He said that the incessant increase of unemployment in the country was alarming.
According to him, the high unemployment rate of 23.1 per cent, and underemployment of 16.6 per cent by the National Bureau Statistics (NBS) of 2019 report was alarming.
“It is a worrisome status as the global poverty capital (World Bank, 2018); and concomitant high prevalence rate of crimes and criminality, including mass murders, insurgency, militancy, armed robbery, kidnappings and drug abuse, among others.
“As if this situation is not scary enough, it is projected that the unemployment rate for this country will reach 33.5 per cent by 2020, with consequences that are better imagined, if the trend is not urgently reversed,” he said.
Mr. Ngige said various government social intervention programmes targeted at reducing youth unemployment and eradicating poverty has been implemented by different
administrations since Nigeria gained independence. The minister also said available records showed that from 1972 to date; about 14 different programmes have been implemented.
He said these programmes included the National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), implemented between 1972 and 1973. He said others were the current National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) which has been ongoing since 2017, embedded in the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
He noted that yet, the unemployment rate and poverty levels are on steady paths of growth, indicating high resilience against the intervention efforts. The minister wondered why some of the intervention efforts were not yielding expected results.
What Ngige did not say is that it is virtually impossible for government to provide all the jobs needed in the country. Not even the private sector can fill that role. That is why the unemployment problem can only be sustainably solved through self-employment even with its challenges.
This is my advise to the youths seeking employment; you want employment mainly because you are either too scared, or too timid, or too lazy to work for yourself! So you don’t know that whatever you earn from your employer is less than what you put in? That is how wages are computed. Your employer makes a profit off you that is why you are employed in the first place.
Now, if you are young and fresh from training (school, University), self employment is your best bet. When you are self-employed, you will learn, you will make some mistakes no doubt, but you will be working for yourself and you would be learning on the job. You will by being self employed, use the best years of your life to construct a better future for yourself. Your income as a self employed person, is all yours except for taxes. Self employed people generally earn more than those in paid employment!
Some people think that self-employment is hard, it is not. Look around you, you will notice that those who depend on pensions in their old age are generally poorer than those who were self employed in their youth. Apart from those who work in Government and steal therefrom, nobody who is employed by anyone else can be deemed to be rich. The ranks of the rich are filled by those who do their own thing and run their own businesses. It is the self employed who can empower others. It is they who bequeath buildings to their Community and labs to their former schools.
Unemployed youths: When will the agony end?
Most people don’t realize that lawyers tend to be rich because they are self-employed. No lawyer in paid employment can compete with a self-employed lawyer in terms of affluence! Same with doctors or tailors or painters. Anyone who is self employed is better off over time, than those who are employed by others!
Most don’t know that a self employed mason earns more than a building engineer in paid employment. So does a mechanic earn more than an automobile engineer in paid employment? You can verify above statement for yourself.
Check your own classmates, you will find that the self-employed are doing better, far better than those in one form of employment or the other.
In other words, stop looking for a job, go get training if you have none, and after that begin the paid practice of what you have learned! Surely it will be hard at first but long term, the rewards are worth it. As they say nothing good comes very easy.
Become self-employed, and it will be well with you. You will legitimately pay your bills and those of your family! Go check it out, 99 per cent of all rich people are self employed. Who did you hear that Dangote, Adenugu or Innoson ever worked for?