By Peter Osalor
WHEN there was oil boom and a somewhat stable economy, the issue of unemployment was a very big problem. Now that Nigeria is experiencing economic crisis, one wonders what the hope of the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths would be. Nigeria’s economy has been hurting on account of the drop in oil prices at the international oil market. All oil producing countries around the globe are feeling the impact of the historic fall in the price of crude oil.
Nigeria is not insulated from this problem, the consequences of the oil bust are already been felt by the people and all sector of the country’s economy. Past leaders of government are to be blamed, they failed to repair our refineries, diversify the economy and revive the manufacturing sector—all because of their personal gains thereby putting the country and the Nigerian people at the mercy of an import dependent economy that blows nobody any good.
The immediate past administration painted a good picture about the economy when in actual fact the economy was undergoing recession and the country’s reserve is bleeding billions. It only took the emergence of the present administration to discover the truth about the state of the Nigerian economy but some people still fail to admit that Nigeria’s economy is currently in distress. Presently, most states of the federation owe a backlog of salary, the reason President Buhari announced a bailout package for the states and is converting their loans into bonds. This is expected to help cushion the effect of the drop in federal allocation to the states as a result of the slump in oil prices.
This should be a great source of concern to every Nigerian leader, business owners, investors and the Nigerian people. Private sector companies are also finding it difficult to pay their workers’ salaries as at when due because of the current state of the economy but unfortunately most private sector companies are not raising the alarm. They are all giving the impression that all is well with them and their businesses.
In the face of this financial and economic crisis is a problem that the present administration and most state governors have to urgently address—and that is the problem of the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths. The rate of unemployment has drastically increased.
Governor Nasir Ahdmad Elrufai led State Government in Kaduna State has Kick started Industrial Entrepreneurial Revolution with the commencement of the initial training of 5000 successful applicants drown from the 23 local governments. The pragramme tagged KAD- STEP is in collaboration with Bank of Industry, (BOI) and Kaduna Business School which are providing the start- up Loan and faculty respectively for the young entrepreneurs.
According to them, the Entrepreneurs would be trained on how to actualize their business proposals into reality. “The bank of industry has always been there but people have not been really equipped to access it and that is what the program is all about. The success will be determined by the number of people you are able to employ.,
All the states in the federation should borrow leaf from Kaduna state, and map out a youth empowerment program that will engage the youths and help reduce unemployment. It is now evident that the bank of industry is always there to assist in this regard. All they need is good proposal and convincing evidence that the interested state governments are willing to judiciously utilise the fund.
Federal government should also come out with better strategies and Entrepreneurship programs that will capture the youths, because youths are the future of this nation, if we leave our youths to be wandering about without anything doing to better their lives, it pose great danger to Government, individuals and Economy; because they will turn to terrors, even criminals. Therefore, governments at all levels should make our youth employment their first priority.