Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s Labor and Employment Minister, has reported that more than 15 million Nigerians are unemployed and are looking for white-collar jobs.
Speaking to news reporters in Enugu on Monday, October 14, the minister said the Buhari-led government launched some projects to resolve the unemployment problem but added that “it’s like a drop of water in the ocean.” Ngige further claimed that Boko Haram and IPOB were launched as a result of unemployment.
“Unemployment is rising into a very dangerous state of poverty that has led to a great deal of anti-social behavior. And the government is seriously concerned because if we don’t tackle unemployment head-on with several steps that we are now fashioning, then social unrest will consume the entire country.
“There are signs. Boko Haram in Nigeria is a symptom of poverty. IPOB is a sign of poverty, desperation, and dissatisfaction among people.
“The same goes for northwest banditry. The same applies to abduction throughout the country— north-west, north-east, north-central, south-east, south-south, and south-west.
“Avengers— pipeline devastation, OPC, all these are signs of the very serious underlying state of the disease called unemployment.
“We do something, but I don’t think it’s enough what we’re doing. The government has used agricultural diversification to tackle unemployment. Yeah, where people agreed to become farmers, it was successful.
“Ad hoc procedures such as the N-Power program have also been used. It’s like a drop in ocean water. Through this phase, we have employed 500,000 people, around half a million. But in the area of about 15 million, we have those competing for white-collar jobs.
“So, we’ve got to do something — to teach people new vocations, new skills, so not everyone goes for white-collar jobs. Even if you have a degree from a university, some skills can be taught so you can employ yourself or even get somehow employed. So, we’ll do that or it’s on the plate.
“We are blessed with the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari. If not, we’d all be dispersed in neighboring countries. We would have had internecine social unrest, and by now we would not have solved it. So we’re moving on with our caps of thought.