In assessing the chances of President Donald Trump for the 2020 American Presidential election, the American telecom giant, Yahoo! Media Incorporated rated Trump as winning the 2020 poll with a landslide victory because the United States economy has been booming for two years running. In its analysis, Yahoo! foreclosed a recession by November 2020 because economic indices made that impossible in spite of any disaster.
Let us by analysis, chart a course for the Nigerian economy in the light of President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance, so far. Throughout the world, employment is crucial for the development of nations. Which was why in the United States, creating policies to achieve full employment was vested in the Presidential Council of Economic Advisers. Thus, economists have established links between employment rate and economic growth and development. And these indices are those used in judging the greatness of leaders during their tenure. It is because Trump has created so many jobs and maintained such a low unemployment rate that Americans are unlikely to abandon him in 2020. As of 2010, Nigeria’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent. It rose steadily to 8.19 percent in 2015 at which point Buhari acceded to power. By 2017, the unemployment rate had more than doubled, peaking at 23.10 percent.
Moreover, underemployment had also jumped from 26.53 percent in 2015 to 43.3 percent in 2018. In real terms, 20.9 million Nigerians are currently unemployed, while 18.2 million are underemployed. This brings the total to 39.1 million people out of a labor force of 90.4 million. The youth (45 percent of the population) accounts for the majority of the unemployed. Indeed, 44 million youth is active in the labor force. The other 55 percent are just trying to eke out a living, like me hustling with no full-time employment. Sadly, unemployment has intensified since 2015, fuelled by a weak economy with massive unrelenting population growth. But the problem isn’t about finding new jobs alone; the problem is that those in employment are losing their jobs owing to factories closing shop. While 1.5 million jobs were created in 2016, a total of 7.9 million Nigerians became unemployed between January 2016 and September 30, 2017. The reason for this is apparent; the Nigerian economy isn’t creating opportunities for employment and growth.
Certainly, unemployment for the ballooning youth population is fuelling kidnapping, insurgency, and armed robbery. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s lack of adequate electricity supply isn’t helping matters. More than five years after the privatization of power supply, there have been no noticeable in electricity supply. For me, I will place the blame on the federal government, which has callously refused to allow full-blown privatized transmission. While the government has privatized the generation of electricity and its distribution; they have refused to privatize transmission without any justifiable reasons whatsoever.
By Bayo Ogunmupe
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