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3.8 Million Certificate Holders- Still, No Job?
Unemployment is one of the many problems in today’s global economy. It has plunged many countries into recession; the ripple effects of which have largely affected job markets. It is no longer a battle fought by the uneducated alone, as it has now extended its branches to the educated sector. Nigeria, for instance, a developing country with over 3.8 million certificate holders (primary, secondary and tertiary), has one of the highest levels of unemployed youths in the world.
One might wonder why this is so, as the country is a land full of opportunities and avenues for earning reasonable amounts of money. Daily, men and women loiter the streets in the typical suit-and-tie apparel, in search of a paying job. They send in applications to tens and hundreds of companies, crossing their fingers and waiting to be called back as promised, and the recent pandemic did not make things better.
A Tragic Increase in Unemployment
Due to the pandemic, the unemployment rate witnessed a tragic increase, as so many companies had to downsize and quite a number of formerly employed people were turned out of their offices. In the past few months, we have witnessed job losses in so many sectors of the economy, with only a handful of “lucky” individuals working from home. The tragic occurrence forced so many people to start thinking out of the box in search of another way to survive. They asked the obvious question, “What is the way forward?” And after days, weeks, months of searching, they finally found the answer- entrepreneurship!
One look at Nigeria’s statistics and unemployment rate from the eyes of a serious-minded entrepreneur would show replete opportunities in disguise. According to Jeffery A. Timmons, “Anyone can be an entrepreneur, who wants to experience the deep dark canyons of uncertainty and ambiguity; who wants to walk the breathtaking highlands of success.”
This beautiful definition of who an entrepreneur is, simply means that entrepreneurs are bright-eyed and sharp-minded individuals who see golden opportunities where others see chaos and confusion. Entrepreneurs are relentless innovators- they generate new ideas and business plans on a daily basis. They are not necessarily money-driven, as the most successful entrepreneurs have proven to be passion-driven. In essence, entrepreneurship is self-empowerment.
A Cure at last!
By establishing new lines of business, and creating new ventures, entrepreneurs contribute to reducing unemployment. In fact, the right number of entrepreneurs will cure a country of the unemployment illness in little time. By providing several youths with the opportunity to work and make an honest income, entrepreneurship proves to be the best way to promote growth and development in a country.
Violence, unrest, and all forms of societal vices can be cured by entrepreneurship. An idle hand is the devil’s workshop and idle youths are the government’s problem, but once all these youths are working successfully, contributing to the growth of their various communities, the government will be left with lesser problems to battle with. The tragedy, however, is that entrepreneurship seems to be largely ignored and undermined.
It is high time we were all enlightened and educated on the healing powers of entrepreneurship. With entrepreneurship, youths are cured of the unemployment problem, and they see no reason to comb the streets in search of a decent job. They are able to pull the strings and determine what to do with their time. Their creativity is sharpened and harnessed and they are able to be agents of transformation in the country.
Naturally, starting a new business might prove to be a difficult task, but to make proper use of entrepreneurship in curing unemployment, here are a few directions:
- Encourage youths to come up with their business ideas. Provide seminars and lectures to guide them on their chosen paths.
- Give them easy access to credit facilities from the bank.
- Mentor them.
- Encourage them.
If children are the leaders of tomorrow, then it goes without saying that youths are the leaders of today. If any country wants to see changes, let them pay more attention to the youths and follow these directions. They will find out that truly, these young ones possess brilliant ideas capable of changing the world. Entrepreneurship is the only tested and proven cure for unemployment, and it is time we paid this cure more attention.