Unemployment One Of The Major Cause Of Underdevelopment


Before we can affirm that a country is developed, there are indubitably factors to be considered and they include: Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality (Seers, 1969). If these factors are at the barest minimum, then that particular country is said to be experiencing development.

However, it has been the direct opposite in Nigeria as these three factors have a rapid growing rate with things getting worse. When people are unemployed, it brings in poverty and this occurs when people find it hard to satisfy their needs such as food, clothing and shelter, thereby it gives room for inequality, as there will be a bridge between the rich and the poor.

Before I enumerate and elucidate, its causes, effects and possible solutions.

Unemployment according to the International Labour Organisation (I. L. O) refers to when people are without jobs and have actively sought for work within a range of five weeks. It is when the supply of labour is more than demand for labour. Unemployment is one of the developmental problems that almost all developing countries in the world are facing of which Nigeria is a prominent example. As a matter of fact, developed countries are also experiencing unemployment, only that it’s tackled better, resulting to either a stable rate or a decreasing rate of it, unlike the constant increase in developing countries.

Unemployment is getting worse daily in Nigeria and it’s at the rate of sixteen percent (16%) annually and what saddens the most is that its effect has been more on the youth. According to the International Labour Organisation (I. L. O), the youths represent twenty five percent (25%) of the total working population but make up forty per cent (40%) of the global unemployed population.

In Africa, there are over 600 million youths of which seventy two per cent (72%) of them are unemployed. For instance, tertiary institutions in Nigeria produce an average of 120,000 graduates each year without hopes of getting any job. (NAPEP 2003).

The following have been identified to be the major causes of unemployment;

Neglect of the agricultural sector, rural – urban migration , corruption, wrong belief about vocational training, rapid increase in population growth and so on. The agricultural sector is one of the primary sectors and it has the capacity of employing over sixty per cent (60%) of the working population but the Nigerian government have neglected it and instead relied entirely on crude oil which can only provide job opportunities for less than ten percent (10%) of the active population.

Lack of infrastructural facilities like good roads, electricity , pipe-borne water in the rural areas has distracted industrialisation and has led to unemployment. Infrastructural facilities in urban areas attract residents of rural areas, creating a desire migrate to urban areas in order to live a stress – free life(so to say) and this will increase the supply of labour compared to the demand for labour.

Outdated school curriculums cause unemployment in the sense that education in Nigeria lack entrepreneurial elements which would have enabled graduates to become job creators rather than job seekers.

Over population in Nigeria is also one of the causes. People are not well educated on the use of contraceptives, family planning, early marriages and this has remotely resulted to high growth of labour force.

Funds meant for development projects have been embezzled and misappropriated as a result of incompetent and unaccountable govern ance.

The effect of unemployment is that people engage in activities that are security threatening like armed robbery , political thugs, prostitution after many years of joblessness, causing nuisance in the society.

In conclusion, unemployment has been one of the factors hindering the development of Nigeria and factors that cause unemployment as highlighted above include rural-urban migration, over population, bad governance,misappropriation of public funds.

The following serve as remedies to the problem of unemployment in Nigeria;

Provision of relative infrastructural facilities in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria as it will encourage industrialization and aid employment which will reduce the usual appetizing desire for urban areas.

The Nigerian government should also diversify, and capitalize on other sectors other than crude oil as this will give more room to employment.

Youths are to be educated on the importance of learning vocations as this will help them to be more of job creators rather than being job seekers

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