Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Scramble for Job: An emerging dangerous trend

"Unemployment rate in Nigeria at 19.7% - 10million Nigerians unemployed at March, 2009."
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).  

Save Our Soul...

At the recent Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) policy dialogue on the Nigerian economy, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, quoted data from the National Bureau of Statistics saying that “unemployment in Nigeria is running at around 19.7% on the average… and almost half of 15 – 24 years old living in urban areas are jobless.” With this alarming statistics, one would agree that Nigeria as a nation still has a long way to go in her bid to achieving vision 20:2020.

Perhaps an alien would think otherwise, undoubtedly however, mass unemployment is no longer a selling story in Nigeria. What is about becoming a fast selling story is the new but dangerous trend in the scramble for job in this 50years old nation. Even though it is a fact that there are no magical alternatives to the reduction of unemployment rate other than proper and full industrialization of the country, job scramblers seems to have found one.

Research has is that Nigerian youths are now shifting their focus to the Nigerian Force (Army, Navy, Air force, Police) in their bid to ameliorate their pitiable conditions. Between May 2009 and July 2010, there has been a mass recruitment in this direction. However, worthy of note in this new trend is the social issue likely to come out of it. Unlike the case in notable countries of the world such as U.S, U.K, and China to mention but few, the drive behind this trend is not based on passion for the protection of the territorial integrity and dignity of Nigeria and the pursuance of internal security. Rather, the drive is based on quest to circumvent the unemployment-induced hardship in the country."The West is a very open and liberal society. No one forces the men to be soldiers. It is a career for them" says Noman Benotman, a former terrorist. Such then is our plight as a nation, when for instance; the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) with an estimated population of 350,000 officers has its list populated by officers with no genuine intention to pursue its objectives. “Those in police uniform see the job as a money-making tool for themselves and not as a means of securing society” moaned Thomas Akinwale, a doctor in Lagos. Little wonder the 20naira culture is waxing stronger, even in the face of mass media campaign against the act.

Needless say, with all the events and issues adding up, that Nigeria is a nation running on misplaced priorities. What a country! I think we should just relax, and keep watching the drama, perhaps, the script will take a funny twist and there will be a happy ending. Did I hear you say a miracle it will be? Let us watch on.

Alamu Samson.

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