According to reports, the unemployment index in Nigeria is tottering 50 percent. This means that the employment future of the archetype young person in Nigeria seems to be paved with uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and frustration.
The government, clueless on what to do, seems to have an unhealthy appetite for consistently making bad decisions that only exacerbates an already very bad situation. This leaves the whole populace worried and stressed out beyond what they thought they could bear.
As an unemployed young person in Nigeria, the odds are never in your favor. It’s either companies are setting unrealistic terms of employment, or they are looking for 24-year-olds with 10 years of experience and several certifications from professional bodies. We all know that the above scenarios are not feasible half of the time in a country that more than 50% of the population leave below the poverty line.
I was beyond shocked when I learned that a certain company in Nigeria is asking fresh graduates for ICAN certifications, as requirements for an entry-level role. I could only laugh because, how many young Nigerians can actually afford the registration fees for ICAN?
I often believe that the Nigerian employment landscape runs on a faux-elite mindset. The employers, totally disconnected from the realities of the average young Nigerian, place huge expectations on them, as a selection process. If you don’t meet the mark, leave! Compete or quit!
This faux-elitism is costing the economy more than we can see, because the middle-class Nigerian, unable to afford to buy into the “elite” class, is unable to access these jobs that could move them into a better tax bracket; which could improve their quality of life.
Employment laws in Nigeria also contribute immensely to the way the employment terrain is structured, as the (prospective) employee is almost never protected.
Job hunting is an extreme sport that interferes with the mental health of young Nigerians in an oft-negative way. Just like the Laws of Natural Selection, it’s survivor of the fittest.