A World Bank study shows that one out of every five
adults in Nigeria is unemployed and just one out of every ten university
graduates gets a job. It's not uncommon to see young people in Nigeria out on
the street, looking for work. Some go to newspaper stands to search for
job openings. Attorney Babatunde Awe says the government must do something to
create more jobs, ''It is unthinkable for a government to exist without
arrangements being put in place for the youths to be employed.''
Sunny Imasuen, a self-employed worker, blames government corruption for the
nation's unemployment problems, "If you listen to billions of naira that
we hear our politicians are syphoning away, you will see that if they actually care for those that elected them into power all these things should
have been put into good use, he says.''
But some Nigerians say there are simply no jobs to
be found. That's the case with unemployed hotel worker Polinus Agu, ''There is
no work. I'm even on my way to look for work now.''
Yet others still manage to find a job. Felix Ebota started his own business, ''I worked with the local government. But they found it difficult paying
salaries...they don't pay till after two to three months. You need
to feed your family and other people that rely on you. So I went into catering …
and today, I have my organization and 22 staff that work for me.''
Some business owners say they would like to hire more workers, but Nigeria's
unreliable electricity supply makes that difficult. Factory owner, Abiodun
Aladegbaye says, ''Until the issue of light is resolved...the problem of unemployment will still be on the rise.''
The chairwoman of Nigeria's International Investors Council, Baroness Lynda
Chalker, says the government needs to make energy and other infrastructure needs
top priorities. She spoke last year at a forum in Abuja, ''We believe that the use of more independent power
production in the provision of energy is really urgent. My encouragement is
take the decisions, then implement those decisions, so that the people of
Nigeria, seeing more constant power, do not have to worry to such a degree,
about the running of their factories, their businesses, and their homes.''
Nigeria's Vice President
Goodluck Jonathan says the government is conscious of the importance of taking
such steps, ''From the beginning of this administration, Mr. President felt that as a
nation, looking at the position of Nigeria in Africa, if we don't grow
economically fast, in a couple of years to come...in less than 10 years,
Nigeria will be a big liability to the rest of the world.''