The Monster In Nnewi Called “Unemployment”
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Unemployment is the number of the economically active population who are without a job but available for seeking work, including people who have lost their jobs ( World Bank, 1998:63).
Renowned Administrative thinker Nkwogbo J (2013), said that unemployment entails the number of people under evocative gene-environment (inopportune persons), who are pregnant and willing to deliver (qualified job seekers) but did not find the hospital (work) as a result of economic meltdown or survival of the fittest economy.
Available literature refers to unemployment and productivity as constituting a vicious circle that explain the endemic nature of poverty in developing countries such as Nigeria.
In the Eastern part of Nigeria, the need to avert the effects of unemployment has made its tackling to feature very prominently on the development policies and objectives of groups or individuals in our different communities. The question here is ” where is the government and what is their effort so far in Eastern Nigeria towards unemployed youths?”.
In spite of such efforts by the groups or individuals, unemployment remains a grave problem and widespread, cutting across all facets of age groups in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Nnewi is one of the most prominent industrial Cities in Nigeria, but today, the government is only concerned with how much tax they can generate from these industries and not how to improve the industries for employment and development.
The achievement of a high level of employment in Nnewi has turned out to be a mirage. Nnewi’s case certainly belongs to a special problem class as young school leavers geometrically join the over-saturated labour market.
As pointed by Nkwogbo J.(2013) an average of about 20,000 Nnewi youths leave secondary school annually, while only 10% of them proceed to higher education. The reason behind this lacuna abounds. Also, an average of 15,000 fresh graduates from Nnewi enter Nigerian labour market annually with only about 3% of them being gainfully employed, when this number is added to those who lose their job through rationalization, retrenchment, downsizing, re-engineering, rightsizing etc. It becomes obvious that the number of job seekers in Nnewi is disturbingly overwhelming.
This no doubt portrays unemployment as a very acute problem in Nnewi, the rising incidence of the unemployed, underemployed and disguisedly unemployed in Nnewi has continued to impact negatively on productivity.
The question is how many effective skill acquisition centres are in Nnewi as an industrial city? How many technical schools are in Nnewi? What are those taxes collected within Nnewi used for?
Evidence abounds that in the productive sector of the Nigerian economy, Nnewi is one of her highest contributors. The question here is, “Why is the level or percentage of unemployment too high in Nnewi than other cities?” Apart from industries built by private individuals and Nkwo market built by the Nnewi people, What happened to the government parastatals in Nnewi? Why is it that a high percentage of Nnewi indigenes are not employed in these parastatals?
Where is the federal character principle and quota system formula? Or is Nnewi not inclusive?
In Nnewi where we have Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, the employment opportunity there for indigenes is less than 4%.
In Nnewi North Local Government, the employment opportunity there for Nnewi indigenes is less than 5%.
In Technology Incubation Centre Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Nnewi, the employment opportunity there for Nnewi indigenes is less than 0.3 %, While in the Nnewi private sector, employment opportunity there for Nnewi indigenes rate from 1 to 6%, depending on the company.
We hereby call on National, International, private organisation and government at all levels to look into the matter and address the issue of unemployment in Nnewi.
Reference: Comr. Izuchukwu Nkwogbo Josiah.