My views on Nigerian graduates being “unemployable”.

Filed under: National Issues |


Education prepares individual for life. It remains a basic process of equipping one with requisite knowledge of different subject areas, personality types, cultural values and social norms and how to co-exist in the real world through the process of socialization. The mind bugging question that will continue to re-echo in years to come are; what is the state of our tertiary institutions? Is the quality of graduates churned out every year a true reflection of our education system? Are individual graduates a separate entity distinct from their respective universities? What reform is needed to restructure our educational sector? Will it ever get better? The possible true answers to these questions will leave the face with a grimace of pity.

Nigerian graduates are termed “unemployable” because more than half the majority of graduates are without a godfather in high places who are ready to give out fancy recommendation letters and also are without huge amount of money to part with for a job they may end up not securing. So I will suggest to any man or woman in government or in any big conglomerate who will want to address an audience and feel obligated to use Nigerian graduates as a reference point to please look into the mirror, even search his/her conscience to determine how he/she got to the position they occupy today, if it is merited.

When the owner/user of a tool is ineffective, the easy way out is to blame the tool, after all the tools can not speak for itself. The fundamental quality of education which Nigeria’s tertiary institution must move towards decorating potential graduates with, are; universities are to equip individuals for life-long learning to harness the ever changing needs and technologies while creating and meeting world class standards. In an increasingly connected world, local standard are not good enough. What’s the quality of the lecturers whose responsibilities should include, encouraging learner participation in creating one’s own rubrics, assessing one’s objectives, determining one’s progress and re-adjusting one’s objectives as one continuous to make progress? In addition to developing a better study ground where tomorrows leaders can truly be nurtured, the education sector is left with one more reform which must include the redesigning of curricula in a “plug and play” mode to allow for fine-tuning and mid-course corrections without excessive penalty for taking a particular for, in the road.

Based on this background I have warned against tarnishing the image of Nigerian graduates, at least what is left of it in the face of the rest of the world. The incessant criticism of quality of a Nigerian graduate, and using it as basis of judgment to why so many graduates are without job is like tying a noose around our neck. To be well informed on the current statistics of graduates churned out into the Nigeria’s already saturated labour market with the daily skyrocketing level of corruption, causing serious socio-economic decadence in the country, one is left with limited option.

Unemployability of Nigerian graduates is a resultant effect of the level of corruption in the society today, which is directly or indirectly killing the standard of education in Nigeria. Because if an individual is certain of an uncle or a senator who can give out a note so he can secure a top job after graduation irrespective of the grade he/she comes out with, they may decide to party all through while in school. Some others, with the money may decide to bribe their way through school to obtain a first class or second class upper degree since employers of labour are so blinded by fancy grade rather than quality and skills.

Until Nigerian government, the sectors of education and relevant stakeholders stamp their feet on the ground to address this mad situation, the less privileged graduates will continue to be marginalized, criticized and may remain unemployed for the rest of their life.