Nigeria: I Have A Dream! By ‘Deolu Oyebode
I want to join my voice with the voices of well meaning Nigerians in addressing a very important situation if the entity Nigeria will withstand the test of time. I chose the word ‘with test of time’ because I foresee a revolution just as we have in the middle east, Egypt, South Sudan, Libya and so on, will occur ‘very soon’ in Nigeria and the basis for this is not far-fetched-Hunger.
Symbolically, hunger is the first son of joblessness either in the form of unemployment for the skilled but unengaged, the underemployed for the ‘much work but less pay’ class and the jobless for the idle hands and also it (hunger) fathers many things which includes terrorism, war, criminalities of various classes, electoral brigandage, child abuse and prostitution among others. In a situation whereby the major proportion of the able-bodied and energized sector of the nation are idle, such nation will never know any peace because when the desirable is not available, the available becomes the desirable.
I have been longing to share this opinion ever since the some youths under the umbrella of the National Association of Unemployed Graduates came up to negotiate with the Federal Government during the removal of the Oil subsidy sometimes January 2012, though at the support of the removal with the hope that when the subsidy was removed, the youths of the nation would be able to secure good jobs from the excesses gotten from it and in the long run, the presidency boasts of a ‘denigrating job’ arrangement called SURE-P for youths, aimed at sweeping on the highways and clearing debris; a job that they wouldn’t want to accept in affirmation for their university graduate wards. My target on this reference is the ‘National Association of Unemployed Graduates’.
This platform though fraudulently used a year ago is set to be returned to Nigeria with genuine leadership and amalgamated forces whose demands may be more difficult than the N90b monthly ASUU demands, the insurgency of Boko Haram and the militants of the Niger Delta. Lets draw a pictorial analysis of the population of this association that is about to kick start the Nigerian Revolution which will witness a rejection of arms usage from the members of the Nigeria Intelligence Units SSS, the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigeria Army or even the Joint Task Force, because directly or indirectly, they will play active roles in the restructuring of the system via the revolution. As at year 2010, Awogbenle and Iwuamadi, using the statistical records from the Manpower Board and the Federal Bureau of Statistics showed that Nigeria has a youth population of 80 million, representing 60% of the total population of the country. That’s a reasonable population that is bigger than South Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Tahiti and some European countries, but that aside, the scholars went further to analyze that 64 million of the Nigerian Youths are unemployed, while 1.6 million are under-employed. He didn’t take into cognizance of the jobless but at least the range is good for us to know the Nation’s situation and how we scholars and youths can come up in addressing the situation.
With the little attention paid on this critical segment by our political leaders who will be the first target during the revolution just as other revolutions in the African soil, are busy with the ‘Share the Money Politics’, ‘Infrastructure first’, forgetting that the home that didn’t empower the youths will one day be sold for a peanut by the abandoned youth. I have no option than to make this data available, here below according to National Bureau of Statistics (2009:238; 2010:2), the National Unemployment Rates for Nigeria between 2000 and 2009 showed that the number of unemployed persons are:
31.1% in 2000 (46.5million); 13.6% in 2001 (20.4miilion); 12.6% in 2002 (18.9million); 14.8% in 2003 (22.2miilion); 13.4% in 2004 (20.1million); 11.9% in 2005 (17.85million); 13.7% in 2006 (20.5million); 14.6% in 2007 (21.9million); 14.9% in 2008 (22.35million) and 19.7% in 2009 (29.55million).
Specifically as regards the age group, educational group and sex, data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (2010:3) further showed that as at March 2009 in Nigeria, for persons between ages 15 and 24 years, 41.6% (62.4million) were unemployed. For persons between 25 and 44 years, 17% (22.5million) were unemployed. Also, those with primary education, 14.8% (22.2million) were unemployed and for those with only secondary education, 23.8% (35.7million) were unemployed. Furthermore, for those with post secondary education, 21.3% (31.95million) were unemployed. For those who never attended school and those with below primary education, 21.0% (31.5million) and 22.3% (33.4million) were unemployed respectively. As regards sex, data showed that males constituted 17.0% (22.5million) while females constituted 23.3% (34.95million).
Although this statistics may not be very accurate because our Nation has another systemic failure of not even having a data capture of her youths, she isn’t interested in her development rather brainwash them with political gibberish called manifestoes of various points agenda, but it is a signal that our nation is heading towards perdition and not only that, we have increased in number and we have also graduated a lot of youths between the year 2010-2013 which we are therein.
So, I think out of the millions of figures I have been saying in my opinionate analysis using this platform, Nigerians should be expecting an intellectual revolution of ‘all dimensions’ just as the intellectual youths are tired of waiting for 2015 or ‘the better time’ which might not come.
This article isn’t a call for revolution as some may think, but it is a confirmation that, the long awaited revolution will come. The signs of the revolution are: one, Students are back home for over 2months because their government and academic unions aren’t sincere to themselves; two, the Government of Nigeria is negotiating with terrorists with huge among of money and juicy offers while her energies are idle at home; three, millions of youths apply for jobs available for hundred people, the Nation is broke according to Prof. Ngozi Okonjo Nweala the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, that is to tell you that the youths must take their destiny into their hands among other issues; four, the youths are fast losing hopes everyday in their Public Office holders, starting from the ward councilors to the presidency and are thus clamoring to be involved in power and decision making.
I know the Presidency and some Governors like Rt. (Hon.) Rotimi Amaechi would think that this is not possible because they are beneficiaries of the system, but just as President Ghadaffi of Libya could not believe the revolution that sent him off could happen, I am also telling you this that the Nation’s leadership has spoken in clear terms to her youths, and it is ‘We are poor so, Empower yourself and take your destiny into your own hands’.
Permit me to charge us all, the unemployed, the underemployed and jobless youths of Nigeria with the second stanza of our National Anthem:
“O God of Creation
DIRECT OUR NOBLE COURSE
GUIDE OUR LEADERS RIGHT
HELP OUR YOUTHS THE TRUTH TO KNOW
IN LOVE AND HONESTY TO GROW
And Live in Just and Truth
Great Lovety height attained
To BUILD THE NATION
WHERE PEACE AND JUSTICE SHALL REIGN”
Speaking for myself and on behalf of the Jobless Nigeria Youths!
A Public Analyst, writes from Ado-Ekiti,
Ekiti State, Nigeria.
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