The Yorubas will say “with the occurrence of the death of a big elephant, one should anticipate the display of different kinds of knives”. The reasons why different kinds of knives will be displayed is not far fetched. The “Orobo” (fat) kind of unemployment disturbing Nigeria is so catastrophic and getting fatter daily with the decline in national productivity and *over concentration of productivity in one State called Lagos*. Many have suggested different ways the menace called unemployment can be fought. I have identified those solutions by using knife as a “metaphor” initially. Those suggested Solutions goes thus; industrialization, entrepeneurship/skill acquisition, Formal apprenticeship, voluntary services etc but over the years, the support or advocacy for *robust civil service employment has received understandable hatred*.
Interestingly, there are many factors that will fuel unemployment to remain so toxic in Nigeria despite the massive support for SMEs. Mind you, many of the CBN grants for SMEs are not even productive as many commercial banks don’t channel most of those funds to empower the poor traders and even the *messiah in microfinance banks* cannot be said to be too friendly as those microfinance banks “choke” our petty traders with “hot loans” or “too hot loans”. Even if the SMEs are given adequate productive support, it is a myth that *all of us can become entrepeneurs*. On to industrialization, it is another big myth that Nigeria is an industrialized country and only few states such as *Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Kano, Kaduna, Anambra and Oyo* can be said to be a bit of “industrial clusters” out of 36 states in Nigeria. As far as am concerned, Lagos State will rank first as the biggest commercial driven state in Nigeria and *will keep on attracting millions of unemployed youths from the South and even the North*. “I pray we don’t choke Lagos”.
Frankly, despite the professional suggestions of IMF in the past for developing countries especially in Africa to invest so much in infrastructure in order to attract foreign investments and rapid industrialization. Unfortunately, IMF has acknowledged the unpracticability of these suggestions simply because *states in Nigeria despite fair investments on infrastructures especially roads have continuously failed to attract favourable industrial investments that will provide massive jobs in many states in Nigeria*. My point is, in the absence of *uneven industrial investments spreading across states in Nigeria beyond the few states mentioned*, what shall be the hope of our hopeless and jobless youths, what shall they be doing pending the time industries will spread across states in Nigeria?. Don’t tell me you are not *aware of the reluctance of foreign investors or local investors in testing other 30 states in Nigeria without industries*.
Albeit, unemployment is not what can be endured for a longtime because it is a social menace and social menace *do not give birth to handsome kids but ugly and monstrous ones*. It is an uninformed opinion and injured bias to advocate for reduced civil service employment in the midst of chronic unemployment coupled with no hope of productive industrial employment. And for those advocating SMEs for all, let it be known that most of these states with no industries are mostly driven by the *informal sector (petty and large scale traders) and i humbly to the fact that all our youths whether graduates/non-graduates can become entrepeneurs*. According to my research, American government employs 45% of America’s labour Force, UK employs 40%, Finland employs 50% and many European countries employ minimum of 35%. The government of these countries ably employ their active citizens in necessary public services with friendly labour policies and active tax policies. It will shock you to know that *Nigerian government employs not more than 20% of the total national work force compared to many countries employing over 30%*. The saddest thing is that many policy experts have even recommended for reduction in the civil service employment of state government and federal government to reduce the pressure on *recurrent expenditure* and concentrate on capital expenditure more. Some have even called for entrenchment of civil servants working in *docile ministries and agencies*. Conclusively, considering the current industrial deficit, infrastructural deficit, extreme poverty, declining productivity, massive unemployment and human capital deficits in our important public services. Rather than condemning more civil service employment, *i am recommending more government employment in states by state government and federal government to employ our teeming unemployed youths into important public sectors like education, health, security, environmental protection, risk management, Agriculture etc with a reviewed fiscal policy that will allow for productivity, job guarantee and minimal salaries for a start*. “Abi how we go engage our unemployed youths in the midst of this Wahala”. *Akeju* *saheed* *adegoriola*