It has been four years since Tim Nwankwo graduated from the Yaba college of technology in Yaba Lagos, Nigeria. He still has not got a job he is qualified for.
He has worked as caregiver for a relative, a security officer for another relative, and is now looking for N70,000 to start up a catering business after he decided to learn to bake pastries when he found no technical job.
“I just need N70, 000 now to start my business,” he says. “I am tired of looking for job and I don’t want to work for my relatives again. it is not dignifying.”
His story is not new or too different from that of many youth who have graduated from higher institutions and still remain unemployed or under-employed.
In fact, his plight is what most Nigerian parents or guardian fear. “My niece is now doing her National Youth Service Corps. Job will look for her, she will not for jobs,” Linda Okonji speaks in a Nigerian manner that rejects “negative circumstances”. She prays her niece gets a job immediately.
A world bank research titled: ‘More, and More Productive, Jobs for Nigeria: A Profile of Work and Workers’, revealed that most Nigerian of workable age “work in low-productivity, low-income jobs with no job or income security”.
According to the research, while two-thirds of Nigeria’s adult population is employed, their jobs are almost never financially sufficient to take them away from poverty. Although two-thirds of the adult population is employed, productive jobs that generate sufficient income to keep people out of poverty are scarce and two out of five Nigerian live below poverty threshold and most adults work long hours (more than 45 hours per week).
According to the World Bank, “Transition from school to work is slow, or does not happen. Although it is not possible to track individuals’ movements in the labor market over time (only a two-year panel is available), cross-sectional data on occupational and educational status show that many young people enter the labor force later in their youth, or not at all.”
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