Nigeria; the young and the jobless. That was the topic on Thursday’s episode of Al Jazeera’s stream. The in-studio guest, journalist and founder of whistle-blowing site, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, led a candid conversation into why the country has such high unemployment rates amongst its youth even as universities and colleges continue to pour out thousands of eager graduates every year.
According to statistics, some 22 per cent of Nigerians are unemployed. Many Nigerians believe the number to be far higher as millions have taken to employing themselves in the absence of any formal employment.
The question that was up for discussion on AJStream is the same that many Nigerians, and even those outside of the country, ponder. How could a country so rich in natural resources, Africa’s oil-producing giant, be so poor and economically unstable?
“Where we are today is that we have sold billions of barrels of oil and made over $500 billion is sales of oil alone between 1956, when it was first discovered, and 2000. We don’t know yet what we’ve mad e in the last 12 years because all of that is also subject of controversy because of corruption,” Sowore said.
“There is no basis for Nigeria to be where it is today,” the activist added.
Sowore, 42, said he left the country a decade ago at age 32 and was never once employed in Nigeria, neither were his friends who are still in the country, many of whom started their own businesses.
As to why the country’s unemployment rates are soaring, the Sahara Reporters’ publisher said the reasons could be “tied to one”.
Mismanagement and corruption.
“The kind of leadership that has been managing Nigeria’s resources between 1960 when we had independence and today, we have a group of incompetent people at every level mismanaging resources, stealing and robbing the Nigerian nation and treasury of its resources”.
Watch the full AJStream episode on Nigeria’s rising unemployment below.