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Saturday, July 15, 2017

POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT REDUCTION IN NIGERIA


Theme: Alleviating Poverty & Unemployment in the Nigeria Economy.

Tag line: "Making Life Better For All Nigerians"


Category: Entrepreneurship Development & Skills Acquisition
TopicPoverty & Unemployment Reduction in Nigeria
Focus Area/Coverage: Rivers State, Nigeria

By: 

AMBASSADOR BELLO ABDULAZEEZ
Ambassador
Nicareer Initiative
Port Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria.
E-mail: bello2527@gmail.com


About Me:


An experience, Resourceful and Creative IT Manager/System Administrator with extensive knowledge in Computer Networking, Server/Web Management, Programming, Database Management System, Hardware/Software Repair, Radio/Telecomm Installation and General IT Consulting. 
A System Administrator with +4 years proven experience in a sensitive corporate environment. Outgoing and detailed oriented, leverages technical expertise on Hardware/Software setup/configuration to provide exceptional user support and resolve critical operational issues. Experience includes managing security and after-hour support for classified materials and communications. Known for creating and implementing training that expands team member capabilities and instructs users on system utilization/improvement. 
An ambassador of Nicareer Initiative representing Rivers State and am writing on the topic “suggest a solution that can make Nigeria better and how this solution can be best applied in your community to reduce the high level of poverty and unemployment rate in the Nigeria economy”  
I have chosen to take up this task because of my great passion and love for Nigeria and my dream to make Nigeria a better nation through alleviation of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria Economy.

Introduction:


The origin of unemployment in Nigeria can be traced back to the oil boom era of 1970s. During this period, Nigerian government and individuals abandoned skills acquisition and utilization through diversified entrepreneurship practices that have the capability to boost both individual and the country’s economic ego. Emphasis shifted from entrepreneurial practices to paper qualification which has resulted in increased unemployment in the country.
The nation’s agricultural, industrial and the then bubbling public service sectors were able to effectively absorb most of the labour force. Nigerian citizens before the oil boom believed in what one can do in order to ensure self-sustenance. For instance, an increase in the economic status of the country was as a result of diversified activities bordering on agricultural products such as cocoa, groundnut, palm kernel, palm oil, cassava, in addition to other craft practices. The educational system in Nigeria then encouraged craft practices even at the primary school level. During the period, Nigeria had so many skilled technicians such as carpenters, painters, auto-mechanics, fashion designers, hair dressers, among others.

Statement of the Challenges:

Most youths graduate from school without the needed skills or competencies that would enable them function in today’s emerging society. Going by these data, it is apparent that the role of skills acquisition in the creation of employment among the youths may not be overemphasized. The study, therefore, seeks to investigate the extent to which skills acquisition programme can help in reduction of unemployment in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria at large, taking the Nicareer Initiative as a study programme.
Thus, we examine the efficiency/efficacy of skills acquisition programme in reducing unemployment in Rivers State with special emphasis on skills acquisition through Nicareer Initiative using the following questions:
  • How can skills acquisition by Nicareer Initiative affect Unemployment in Rivers State?
  • What Challenges if any, may hinder effective contributions of Nicareer Initiative in Rivers State?
  • Can Skills Acquisition by Nicareer Initiative improve the income of the citizens of Rivers State in the period under review?


 About the Community:


Rivers State, also known simply as Rivers, is one of the 36 states of Nigeria. According to census data released in 2006, the state has a population of 5,185,400, making it the sixth-most populous state in the country.[3] Its capital and largest city, Port Harcourt, is economically significant as the centre of Nigeria's oil industry. Rivers State is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by Imo, Abia and Anambra States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State and to the West by Bayelsa and Delta states. It is home to many indigenous ethnic groups: Ikwerre, Ibani, Opobo, Eleme, Okrika, and Kalabari, Etche, Ogba, Ogoni, Engenni, Obolo and others. The people from Rivers State are known as "Riverians".
The inland part of the state consists of tropical rainforest; towards the coast the typical Niger Delta environment features many mangrove swamps.
Rivers State, named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893, when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria. The state was formed in 1967 with the split of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. Until 1996 the state contained the area now known as Bayelsa State. 
The state is famous for its vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas. It was perhaps the richest and most important section of the African zone of the British Empire. Rivers State has two major oil refineries, two major seaports, airports, and various industrial estates spread across the land. More than 60% of the country’s output of crude oil is produced in the state. Other natural resources found within its boundaries are silica sand, glass sand and clay.
As an IT Professional/Entrepreneur, my presences in Rivers State for the past four years have contributed immensely to the growth of Oyigbo Community through training of student and youth on Vocational Skills acquisition, IT Skills and Entrepreneurial skills. I have conducted a lot of trainings/conventions that helps to empowered over 230 youth and made over 150 Youth/Students to be self dependent and self-employed.

Community Pressing Problems:


Unemployment: is a very hot issues in rivers state particularly Oyigbo where I reside. People of Oyigbo community are facing serious hunger as a result of lack of employment in the area because they dependent vastly on Oil jobs for survival which is not forth coming. Students at tertiary educational institutions often graduate into joblessness and low morale. There is a great challenge in Nigeria education. Many Nigerian graduates did not learn good skills during their studies. They were busy reading only textbooks without knowing the applications of what they read. They apply for jobs for which they aren’t hired because they lack skills. Graduates often must stay in their parents’ homes for a long time, with mounting frustration and pessimism. This negativity is one of the major root causes of crime among young people in the community, as they turn to unscrupulous activities because there is nothing else to occupy their time or generate income. 
Cultism: One of the most pressing problems in the community is cultism. There are no longer schools or street in the community that has not experienced the menace of cultism for one time or another. As we have today, the menace and the aggressiveness of cult members and cult related violent clashes and activities have caused sudden death of some youth in the community. As a result of unemployment and poverty in the community, the youth in the community engaged in cultism and thus unleashing terror and devising illegal means of extorting money from the mass especially The Oil Firms and Drivers across the roads.
Robbery and Kidnapping: The activities of Robbery and Kidnapping is at alarming rate in River State especially Oyigbo Community where even youth of less than 20 years of age are involved in this menace. Over the years, crime rate in the community has risen to an alarming height. Cases of armed robbery occurrence, kidnapping, pickpockets and shoplifting have increased due to increased level of poverty among the populace. The crime rate in any country is directly tied to the level of poverty in the country. No doubt, the rate of unemployment in the community has become high as thousands of graduates leave school without any hope of getting a decent job. While social services are unavailable to those without jobs, many of them watch helplessly as corrupt leaders loot the nation’s treasury with reckless abandon.
Sadly, the corruption and unemployment situation compound the social problems in the community as many unemployed youth easily turn to crime as a way to make ends meet or in defiance of the society that has failed to provide for their basic needs. The reasons for increase in the crime rate in are, however, not meant to validate the actions of those who perpetuate armed robbery or any similarly related crimes.
Most people think of robberies as those committed against banks or at late-night retail establishments like fuel stations or shopping malls where a gun is used to force the cashier to hand over the money. However, most robberies occur on the street, directly against a person. When someone uses force or fear against you to steal your car, it is called carjacking and this is quite common in the community.

Recommended Solution:


Skills Acquisition is the key to reduce high level of poverty and unemployment rate in Nigeria. The contribution of Skill Acquisition and training on unemployment reduction through youth empowerment and social welfare service improvement will be much significant if encouraged at all level in the state especially at local and community level. Acquisition of vocational skills leads to a significant reduction of poverty among young adults who participated on skills acquisition programmes. Because Nigeria is fast becoming a predominantly youthful society with high rate of unemployment, it requires training the youth in entrepreneurship skills in technical vocational education and training to tackle unemployment which has reached alarming proportions.  Youth unemployment remains a major challenge to the developmental process of the Nigerian economy. Youth unemployment appears to be shooting up the sky as many Nigerian youths lack appropriate skills that will empower them after graduation from school. Most youths graduate from school without the needed skills or competencies that would enable them function in today’s emerging society.
The importance of entrepreneurship skills acquisition cannot be over-emphasized since appropriate skills acquisition through entrepreneurship will help to make young school leavers to be self-reliant and boost their economic status.  Entrepreneurship has been identified globally and nationally as a tool for generating a sustainable economy which is the core value of the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategies (NEEDS). Through such Skills Acquisition, the establishment of small businesses helps to generate substantial amount of employment and income which are essential parts of a country’s Gross National Product (GNP) on the one hand and reduce unemployment on the other. For the laudable benefits of entrepreneurship skills acquisition to manifest in our youths’ and the general public, skills must be learned through formal or non formal settings. When youths are empowered through the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, there is the possibility that they will use the skills to create new avenues for wealth. Empowering the youth to set up businesses involves proper acquisition of skills through education and training. Such acquisition opens one’s eyes to forecast business opportunities using appropriate entrepreneurship skills. 

My Research Recommendation Design:


Our population of study is Rivers State, Nigeria. The state occupies a landmass of 11, 077 km2 with 23 local government areas, which support a population of 5,185,400 with a population density of 468 per square kilometer. About 72 per cent of the total population lives in the rural areas, implying that the remaining 28 per cent of the population live in the urban center.
The total sample for the study will be all the Rivers State Ambassadors of National Initiative (Management/ Technical Trainers), all Trainees of Nicareer Initiative in the 4 training centers in the state and a Supervisor/Director of Nicareer Initiative from the Head Quarter making  up a total of 141 sample. That is, 35 peoples (Trainers & Trainee) in each of the four Training Centre excluding Supervisor/Director from Nicareer Initiative. This total sample will be examined using proportionate stratified sampling. According to Gall, Gall and Borg [21], proportionate stratified random sampling involves a sample selected so that subgroups in the population are proportionately represented in a sample. More than that, a proportionately stratified random sample will ensure that every segment of the population is identified and its proportion is determined and taken into consideration. Major primary data will be collected through field survey from 3 technical/vocational skill acquisition centers located in each of the senatorial districts in the state, in addition to 1 agricultural skill acquisition centre located in Bomu, Gokana local Government Area. The primary data will be supplemented by secondary data which shall include unemployment rate for Rivers State, yearly enrolment/training statistics by National Directorate of Employment (NDE), number of beneficiaries of various NDE schemes, trades offered in each of the centers. These data will be sourced from the data bank of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Rivers State, the Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletin (various issues) and Publications of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) [22-24].
In line with the study method, the data will be collected through a combination of (a) structured questionnaires and (b) oral interviews. The fieldwork will last for eight months, maybe January-August 2018, early parts which will be for preliminary visits to the training centers. To all trainers and trainees in each of the centers, questionnaires will be given. The questionnaires administration will be supplemented by oral interview, where necessary.
Acquiring skills in Rivers State: The role of Nicareer Initiatives/Ambassadors
In line with the mandate of Nicareer Initiative which is to address poverty and unemployment problems in Nigeria, The Ambassadors in Rivers State can introduce a number of intervention programmes designed to mitigate or reduce the scourge of poverty and unemployment in the state. We can articulate the following four areas of employment intervention programmes
   a.   Vocational Skill Acquisition (VSD),
   b.   Small Scale Enterprises (SSE),
   c.   Rural Employment Promotion (REP), and
   d.   Special Public Works (SPW).

Benefits and Importance:


I can emphatically state “that Nigeria’s social and economic problems will be drastically reduced if people are given adequate vocational training in skills, raw materials, machineries and equipment”. It is only with skilled men that materials can be harnessed, manipulated and transformed into products. With quality skills acquisition programmes, countries like America, Britain, Germany and Japan have rehabilitated drug addicts, school dropouts and several destitute who eventually contributed meaningfully to the economy and the development of high volume of productivity in their countries.
 The importance of entrepreneurship skills acquisition cannot be over-emphasized since appropriate skills acquisition through entrepreneurship will help to make young school leavers to be self-reliant and boost their economic status. Isike [12] stated that entrepreneurship has been identified globally and nationally as a tool for generating a sustainable economy which is the core value of the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategies (NEEDS). Through such Skills Acquisition, the establishment of small businesses helps to generate substantial amount of employment and income which are essential parts of a country’s Gross National Product (GNP) on the one hand and reduce unemployment on the other. For the laudable benefits of entrepreneurship skills acquisition to manifest in our youths’ and the general public, skills must be learned through formal or non-formal settings. Such acquisition opens one’s eyes to forecast business opportunities using appropriate entrepreneurship skills.
Skill is like key used in opening door of fortune. As water is very essential to human life; so is skill needed in the life of every serious minded human being. Skills can do a lot of great work in the life of every living soul. Lack of skills is a major cause of corruption. The importance of skill acquisition includes self employment, diverse job opportunities, employment generation, effective function, and crime reduction.

  • Self-employment: A skill acquired man is a self-employed man. The piece you are reading right now is written as a result of the skill acquired by the writer. There are so many self-employed writers today who do not border themselves of carrying files from one office to another in search of job. Their duty is freelance writing and they make great money from their writing. In the same vein, many successful businessmen and woman whose names are heard in many parts of the world are self-employed. A self employed person can never go hungry because the skill he acquired provides food for him on daily basis. But one who lacks skill acquisition will find it difficult to be self employed because he has nothing to offer. Skills acquired by website designers are what they use on their daily feeding instead of indulging in cyber-threat or online theft which is also related to internet. In that case, they do not have the time to answer ‘sir’ to anybody. They are self-employed due to the technical skill they acquired sometime ago. They are hired by many companies on daily basis because the skills they acquired keep them going. Whenever they feel like staying in their home and rest they do so without being questioned by any higher authority. They are simply boss of their own.

  • Diverse job opportunities: Have you ever seen someone who acquires many skills alone? Such person is classified as someone who is up and doing. Those who have many skills stand the chance of gain job from many establishments. Frankly speaking, people who have many skills are being searched by many companies. Company A, B, and C stand in a queue fighting over one person. They are searched for because they can do many functions due to the series of skills possessed. This is similar to what happens in the world of football. Many football clubs fight over star footballers in every football season. In that case it is left for the footballer to select from many opportunities that wait for him. Some football clubs like to have star footballers like Christiano Ronaldo, Portugal; Lionel Messi, Argentina; Rooney, England; and many others because of the excellent football skills they possess. Some of these footballers are accused of being Illuminati members but what keep them going are their skills. A case like this has the footballer to decide which club to play for. In that case, he is not searching for job but job is searching for him; just imagine the power of skill acquisition.

  • Employment generation: Many governments are still finding it difficult to provide jobs for the citizens because the citizens are lacking important skills they need. There will be a lot of jobs generated for the citizens of every country if the citizens are well equipped with skills. This is why it is necessary for government to organize skill acquisition programme for the masses as this will go a long way in providing jobs for others. Someone who is well equipped on electronics repair can train his fellow citizens. When these citizens ‘mature’ in such field, they start earning from the skill they acquired from their master. This is how the newly trained in that field will train other persons, and employment generation keeps on growing in such circle. Likewise those who have good skills in businesses, they make good money on their businesses and generate employment for others by employing other to assist him in his business.

  • Effective function: Organizations that employ skilful workers to assist in their organizational duties lose nothing at all because there will be always effective functions performed by the employee. This is because the employee has acquired necessary skills needed for him to perform the work as desired by the organization. The knowledge he gained from the training on that specific job makes him to do the organization’s works as desired by the management of the organization. There is much difference between studying a particular course in the university or college and going for training on that course the person studied. Training on that course gives the fellow an insight on how to pilot the function whenever he is called. With skill acquisition combined with the education attainted by a person, effective function is offered to the company he works or is going to work with.
  • Crime reduction: Skill acquisition reduces the crime rate in many nations. People begin to think on many dirty activities they will do to make money when they do not have anything to call job of their own. But, with acquired skill by an individual, he works and makes money from his acquired skill. This will make him to feel comfortable in life and do not disturb his or herself life in any way. Nations are advice to organize skill acquisition programmes for her citizens to experience low crime practices by her citizens. Instead of engaging in crime, the money acquired by the citizens from empowerment through skill acquisition can be used to promote peace in such nations. Also, the skill acquired by the citizens who were indulging in crime before can be used to convert those who are still partakers in such bad practice. They can go after their old bad friends and teach them the new skills they acquired thereby converting them to good.


Conclusion:


A skilful man speaks with confidence while the none skilful is filled with fear. This topic has done justice to the importance of skill acquisition. The young, old, beautiful, handsome and the ugly need skill acquisitions. This is an important tool for achieving of success in life. The five principal importance of skill acquisition as discussed under this topic are self employment, diverse job opportunities, employment generation, effective function, and crime reduction. These five cardinal points are not the only importance of skill acquisition. If you have friends whether learned or not, encourage them to go for skills because good and lucrative skills acquired can make ways where it seems there is no way.
I strongly believe that the best way to help improve Nigeria is by empowering the youth with Skills. 
I stand on this because if a youth learns at least a skill, it will keep such youth busy and takes his/her mind away from other bad acts and also it will erase any intention of doing anything bad. After the duration of such skills, Government and Non Governmental Organization should empower the youth by providing effective machineries and as well capitals so that such youth won't run away from the skill. Once they see support they would stay and make it their priority. This will in one way or the other reduce unemployment rate. In view of this I would advise the Government to look into empowering youths through entrepreneurship. When youths are empowered through the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, there is the possibility that they will use the skills to create new avenues for wealth. Empowering the youth to set up businesses involves proper acquisition of skills through education and training.

Regards


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34 comments:

  1. GREAT WRITE-UP, GOD BLESS YOU SIR BELLO.

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW...WONDERFUL ARTCLE FROM PROF. BELLO

    ReplyDelete
  3. very educating sir...skills acquisition and entrepreneurship is the best solution to alleviate poverty and unemployment in Nigeria. GOD BLESS YOU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yes, skills acquisition is just the way forward for poverty and unemployment alleviation.

      Delete
  4. You are a genus, God bless you sir for this mind-blowing article..we need people like you to shape the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, expecting you guys in my upcoming training/programme on that.

      Delete
  5. Nice one. Best solution to poverty and unemployment. More grease to your elbow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. very educating. sky is your limit.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So comprehensive and well structured!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks great alleviator, together we shake the world and make the world a better place not just for our generation also for the generations to come.

      Delete
  8. Great article sir, so mind blowing..wish to learn from you soonest. when is your training coming up sir?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks my friend from lebanon...i shall communicate you when the programme/training date is fixed.

      Delete
  9. I love your article sir, Ambassador Bello Abdulazeez, it's really blows my mind to being self employment and investing in entrepreneurship. am already researching about.
    Congratulation sir and i can't wait to attend your training/seminar soonest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes.. i encourage you to continue on your research and invest on skills acquisition & entrepreneurship because that is the best tools for social engineering and sustainable development in the world.

      Delete
    2. I shall communicate you when the date for the programme/training is fixed, thanks.

      Delete
  10. Wow, congratulation, you deserve to be the best, God bless us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Honourable Ayodele, am loyal sir.
      I appreciate your candid efforts in sacrificing your time to read the whole of my article and also your fascinating suggestions and even going far in sharing the article and recommending it to peoples all over the world.
      GOD BLESS YOU.

      Delete
  11. Looking forward to learning and growing under you...please when is your seminar coming up?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks, no date yet but i shall communicate you when due.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want to say a big thank you to you all that have devoted your precious time in reading my article and rating it as the best among all other articles and even sharing and recommending it to the world, i say, am humble and may God bless you all and i promise i shall swang the write-up into action as soon as possible and very soon i shall make nigeria and the world better through implementation of my article in alleviating poverty and unemployment in the world especially Nigeria.
    THANKS ONCE AGAIN
    MEET YOU GUYS SOON
    I LOVE NICAREER INITIATIVE
    I LOVE NIGERIA
    I LOVE THE WORLD
    TOGETHER, WE SHALL MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE THROUGH THIS INITIATIVE.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow!!!I love this piece, What an intellectual write up,Keep it up SIR, sky is ur limit

    ReplyDelete
  15. CONGRATULATION! Sir..your work is an absolute brilliance and am still shock while you didn't earn the highest vote because your article can never be compared to your fellow ambassadors, you stand out as the best irrespective of the vote poll result.. if Nigeria government can focus on this, trust me, Nigeria will be freed of the killer disease called recession. kudos Sir. Very Brilliant work!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice piece, please when is the implementation coming up?

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are a genius,just wish am in Port Harcourt to be part of your team.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Intelligent write-up, kudos to the writer

    ReplyDelete

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