Unemployment driving Nigerian graduates into ‘Class Suicide’ – Report

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported a significant drop in Nigeria’s unemployment rate from 33.3 to 4.1 percent.

Despite this optimistic figure, the stark reality across the nation paints a different picture. A considerable number of Nigerian graduates, especially those from tertiary institutions, continue to grapple with unemployment.

The struggle is evident nationwide, as graduates from universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education face a scarcity of job opportunities. Even individuals with advanced degrees find themselves overlooked by employers who demand experience and are unwilling to meet higher salary expectations.

For many unemployed Nigerian graduates, life has devolved into a Hobbesian state of hardship and survival, where taking on jobs below their qualifications becomes a necessity. Riding motorcycles, driving cabs, house cleaning, and engaging in various trades have become the unexpected paths for survival.

In contrast, some graduates have embraced alternative avenues for success. Those who choose to forge their path often encounter challenges but persevere with the hope of creating opportunities for others. Financial support from the government, philanthropists, or non-governmental organizations is seen as a crucial catalyst for their success.

Despite the hardships, some graduates have found fulfillment in unconventional careers.

Johnson Ademola, for instance, holds degrees in Philosophy and Sociology, pursuing a doctorate while thriving in generator repair. His educational background, though seemingly unrelated, sets him apart and attracts customers.

Ademola’s story exemplifies the resilience of those who, despite initial career aspirations, find satisfaction in unexpected paths. His success in generator repair, expanding to sales and employing others, challenges conventional perceptions about the correlation between education and career choice.

Other graduates, like James Okezie, have chosen hands-on learning over idleness. Okezie, with degrees in Sociology and International Relations, found purpose in practical skills under Ademola’s mentorship.

This shift from traditional job hunting to self-employment has provided a means of sustenance.

Similarly, Patrick Nnamani, a Business Administration graduate turned tricycle operator, underscores the need for financial support to expand his business. The plea for government intervention, including providing loans and ensuring stable electricity, resonates among graduates seeking self-employment.

Rowland Akande, an Accounting graduate turned estate agent, shares a different trajectory. Despite challenges, he has established himself in the real estate sector, emphasizing the importance of patience, knowledge, and trust in building a successful career.

These narratives reflect the diverse experiences of Nigerian graduates navigating the challenging landscape of unemployment. While some find success in unexpected ventures, others persist in unconventional paths, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of individuals in the face of economic hardships.

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