Employment refers to the state of being engaged in paid work or occupation by an individual in exchange for financial compensation, wages, salary, or other forms of remuneration. It involves a contractual agreement between an employer (organization, business, or individual) and an employee, where the employee offers their skills, time, and efforts to perform specific tasks or roles as defined by the employer. Is it true that Nigerian graduates are unemployable? Well, with the unemployment rate in Nigeria, that is a hundred per cent correct.
Although there’s a high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, most graduates are not employable.
The population of graduates in Nigeria is high, and the rate of unemployment keeps increasing every day.
This is distressful as it changes to a bulging youthful, energetic unemployed population with no contribution to the economic growth of the country.
Each academic year, universities and polytechnics admit close to 2 million students and produce about 600,000 graduates.
In one of the recent mobilizations, the National Youth Service Corps mobilized 66,000 Nigerian graduates for its mandatory one-year service to the country.
This practice started on May 22nd, 1973 as an avenue for the reconciliation, reconstruction and rebuilding of the nation after the civil war.
The status of the seemingly saturated Nigerian labor market leaves most graduates frustrated.
The situation has been gradually declining over the past 20 years.
The above data is a problem that needs urgent solutions in the public sector, as well as the private sector in Nigeria.
However, the number of unemployed university graduates in Nigeria will increase in the coming years.
You may want to know, why are Nigerian graduates unemployable even in the schools that train them.
Some employers in the country have attributed the issue of unemployment of Nigerian graduates to the quality of university education they have acquired.
Which according to them, is the reason they are unemployable.
Here are the top 10 reasons why most Nigerian graduates are unemployable:
1. Quality Of Training Not In Line With Society’s Needs
A study found employers associate the high number of unemployed graduates with the quality of training they receive from local universities.
That is, most of the courses many graduates study in schools are not in line with what the labour market needs and the situation of society.
2. Lack Of Employability Skills
To be candid, most Nigerians are unemployable because they lack the right employability skill.
So, when the graduates lack the relevant skills that are needed in the job market the employers refuse to hire them.
That makes the unemployment rate in Nigeria increase and more graduates unemployable.
3. Entrepreneurship Is Out Of The School Curriculum
Nigeria’s education system is not designed to accommodate entrepreneurship in its curriculum.
The failure of this system has been identified as one of the problems that contributed to the major reason why many Nigerian graduates are unemployable.
For instance, our educational systems emphasize much more on theoretical education more than entrepreneurship education and exposure for Nigerian students.
This is a tragedy and the reason why Nigerian graduates will continue to be unemployable.
4. Competition In The Job Market
As the number of college graduates and degree holders has increased during the past years, so has the number of job applicants striving for the position. This means tough competition in the job market, specifically for entry-level posts.
5. Graduates Lack The Required Knowledge Of Seeking Jobs
One of the reasons Nigerian graduates are unemployable is that the students do not know how to seek job opportunities which lead to losing out in the labour market.
The area of knowledge deficiency is a problem and one of the reasons why most Nigerian students are not employable.
6. Lecturers Do Not Possess Current Knowledge
Another reason why most Nigerian graduates are unemployable is that students in tertiary institutions are not trained with new skills and knowledge.
The lecturers are not undergoing any training or upgrading their knowledge in line with the current trend of the education system.
Thus, the students lacked the right skills the labour market wants.
7. Graduates Lack Basic Mental And Practical Skills
Another tragic problem why Nigerian graduates are unemployable is that most of them lacked basic mental and developmental skills.
And also basic social skills and basic practical skills to perform efficiently and effectively in any appointed post in the workplace.
That also contributed to why most Nigerian graduates are unemployable.
8. Bad Leadership
In Nigeria, one of the major factors for the high unemployment rate in Nigeria is bad leadership.
The leaders of our country, the federal government, the state, and the local government are too selfish and corrupt.
80% of those in political power do not become leaders because they want to help the nation but because they only want to enrich their own pockets.
9. Irrelevant Programme In Nigeria Schools
How will Nigerian universities continue to graduate over 500,000 students yearly who do not have what to offer society, or can not create jobs for themselves?
And perhaps, become employers of labor, or worst still, who do not have the requisite knowledge that guarantees them employment? It is unfortunate.
10. No Plans After The One-Year Compulsory Service
Most graduates go for their one-year mandatory NYSC programme without any plans for life after.
The NYSC programme should be an avenue for self-discovery for those who lack the relevant skills to face the job market.
Some of them should enroll in some skill acquisition to equip themselves practically and go into entrepreneurship since the available jobs cannot go around.
They also know that after the programme, they are to cater for themselves as there are no arrangements by the government to absolve them into the labor market afterwards.
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is indeed quite alarming.
A survey revealed that over 90,000 people ( 47 per cent of Nigerian university graduates) are unemployed.
This article has covered the top 10 reasons graduates are not employable in Nigeria.
That means that there must be a deliberate, all-around investment in education. Students in tertiary institutions need exposure to tools and knowledge existing in this digital age.
There should be an improvement in the school curriculum. Courses offered should match the relevant skills in demand, and available jobs, not just in Nigeria but all over the world.