Why some Nigerian graduates are unemployable.

Filed under: National Issues |


It has been discussed in different quarters that Nigerian graduates are not employable; some government officials have used it as alibi for the massive unemployment in the country. Well, am a graduate and definitely employable, in fact organizations will be so lucky to have someone with my quality in their team working to advance their growth and development. How failure in the system becomes a culture in Nigeria you ask? The way and manner every stakeholders that are charged with the responsibility to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed populace have quickly keyed into Nigeria’s new found national anthem of “Nigerian graduates are not employable”. Little wonder why the only two less viable option the Federal Government has to the threat of job scarcity are YOUWIN and SURE-P (Subsidy Reinvestment Program), which is completely characterized with corruption, favoritism and also haven’t provided the answer to the questions frequently asked by the labor market.

We are so quick to pass judgment on our graduates without considering other factors contributing to their being unemployed or rather unemployable if I may choose their words. The foundation has grown weak if it was ever strong, never had it ever been heard that in building a house or any structure for that matter it is built from the roof-top down to the bottom. Nigeria education system of 6-6-4 so brilliant but obviously have failed and needs a little  modification, the present education system has been criticized for neglecting the preschool group, where the children between the age of 4 to 6 are groomed for the elementary level. Even when we pretend that it does exist; what is the quality of the curriculum and how often are they reviewed? Are they flexible enough to accommodate future changes, while adopting global best practices? Since they are at the elementary stages, are the curriculum designed to be developmental? This and many other questions stare us in the face when we try to push all the blame towards the graduates.

With all due respect to employers of labour, and captains of industries, these groups of people have gone from being very industrious to being lazy?! This is not limited to Nigeria alone; it is a general phenomenon sweeping across the world today. Employers of labour are only interested in the “first class” and “second class” of this world causing other classes of degrees to be disadvantaged. The high concentration on shinny certificates has only made the academic field a ground for ‘get the certificate and forget the knowledge’. A more reason why some businesses thrive while others fail, successful organizations engage in huge brain activity to develop a system that works, according to McDonald Foods, FedEx and there kinds “a system where ordinary people can do extraordinary things irrespective of the class of degree they possess”.

It is amazing what you can come up with after a long and thorough research. Eight out of every ten teachers in Nigeria never choose teaching or lecturing as their first career. This implies that most of the teachers/ lecturers venture into the profession because of unemployment. What are the qualifications of the teachers? How is their educational background? The teaching profession should be sacred because it is the basis of brighter possible future growth and development of any nation. It must be made flamboyant and lucrative too to attract the best brains around the country.

When soldiers go to battle field that requires guns and grenades and they are armed with just ordinary machete, one obvious result will be imminent, irrespective of the skills of the soldiers – a total massacre. This situation can be likened to our graduates, what is the state of infrastructure in Nigeria institutions? The science students are without state of the art equipment in their laboratories, the library are completely empty, some with obsolescence books which will impact little or no knowledge. Some have argued that environment does not matter when it comes to schooling, but I am sorry to burst your bubbles, because it does count. If environment is to be relegated, why then do we talk about the environment having a great influence on children’s development?

There is this old saying that to whom much is given, much is expected. The education sector and the society must give much to our schools before expecting much from the student. You don’t sow cassava and expect to harvest yam. There are no constant power supply and water in our universities. Can Nigerian universities boast of two academic calendar year without a strike? Such break in session contributes to the students being book-rusty when they finally resumes, a practical example presently is the face-off between ASUU and the Federal Government.