- 1.8 million students sat for the 2022 UTME/direct entry exams
- 367,499 candidates applied for medicine. Only 43,717 slots were available
- 231,907 applied for social science courses. Only 93,277 slots were available
- JAMB noted that fewer candidates applied for Agriculture and Education-related courses despite the huge vacancies existing in the faculties. Find out why as you read.
[Yet,] The current rate of unemployment in Nigeria is 35%, according to Pete Obi, the Labour Party’s nominee for President of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential election. Nigeria’s present population is over 217 million. That means more than 76 million people in the labour force are unemployed. Other developed countries with high GDP have low unemployment rates.
The Economic Wahala
Slow economic growth in the country has resulted in a brain drain. Educated and talented people who would have contributed to society leave in search of greener pastures in more economical countries.
Those with creative minds who stay in the country, think of great business ideas but often lack the financial capacity or sufficient resources to achieve their goals. The ones with little finances start small-scale businesses. Some fail because they can’t cope with the business climate or compete with big companies. High taxes also discourage them.
Recently, bread bakers planned to go on strike because of rising cost of doing business. This is discouraging for the economy.
The Academic Wahala
Despite the rate of unemployment, every year 5.2 million students get enrolled in secondary schools.
No fewer than 1.8 million candidates sat for the 2022 UTME/direct entry exams. According to the 2022 statistics 367,499 candidates applied for medicine while only 43,717 slots exist.
231,907 applied for social science courses despite the fact that 93,277 slots were available, while 204,734 applied for science-related courses despite 132,796 vacancies.
The further breakdown also revealed that 81,653 applied for law-related courses despite 8,529 vacancies. 103,891students applied for technology-related courses with 60,199 vacancies;72,014 applied for courses under Arts and Humanities despite 48,744 vacancies.
111,601 vacancies exist for education courses in all Nigerian universities, and only 53,612 candidates applied. 21,568 applied for agriculture despite the country’s universities having 31,217 vacancies, according to a JAMB report.
In the statistics above, the candidates that applied for the courses are more than the slots available. Only education and agriculture-related courses have a low number of candidates compared to other slots available. You can join the iCamp programme for interesting jobs.
Why are youths running away from agriculture?
This is because the education and agriculture sectors of the economy are not given the needed attention; thus candidates do not want to study courses that won’t fetch them a proper job.
Here are Some Solutions
To improve the economy, small-scale businesses should be given tax relief by the government.
The government should disburse money to microfinance banks for lending to enhance economic growth. This plan will help small businesses to grow, and as their businesses grow, they will create jobs to reduce unemployment. It will also help many poor Nigerians to be self-reliant.
The administration has to invest in every sector of the economy, especially the education and agriculture sectors.
[non-outdated] Essential skills needed in the labour market today should be introduced in schools so that undergraduates can keep up with the pace at which the world is evolving.
Technology courses like cybernetics and robotics, computer animations, web courses, data capture, and others should be introduced in schools.
The government should start programs to train young entrepreneurs that will create employment opportunities rather than search for jobs that are not available.
You can join the iCamp programme for interesting skills.
Agriculture is the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria. If the government undergoes serious reform in the agriculture sector, there would be a drastic reduction in the unemployment rate.
Research & Development
There should be adoption of research findings and technology. Agricultural research would increase the scale, speed, and productivity of farm equipment, leading to the efficient cultivation of more land. It will also help to reduce hunger and poverty in Nigeria.
According to Nairametrics, the agricultural sector has contributed 21.09% to overall GDP in real terms in the first quarter of 2022. It can do more if the government contributes to the growth of this sector.
Low unemployment equals a rich economy.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section.