I have heard it said many times by many people that bad government is the reason for unemployment.
That`s half true and false at the same time.
True because government has responsibilities. False because government cannot single-handedly solve the problem of unemployment.
Can government actually solve the problem of unemployment?
The answer is no, at least not as many people think.
For most Africans, government should be responsible for creating jobs. that`s a white lie. Governments are NOT responsible for job creation (though our constitution wrongly say they should).
Government don`t know how to and cannot create jobs.
The only thing government can do (and should do) is to create conducive environment and facilities that will help you and I to create jobs.
Yes, job creation is the duty of yourself and myself, for ourselves and other Africans.
I`m a citizen of Osun State, Nigeria. The other time when there was to be election, the present governor promised to create 20,000 jobs for the citizen of the state in 100 days of his governance.
I asked people, how on earth will he do that?
But he proved me wrong. He actually created 20,000 jobs. But ask me, which kind job? Street sweeping jobs, for University and polytechnic graduates.
Guess how much they are receiving monthly?
#10,000 minus tax.
You must have seen similar things in Lagos, your state and even in your country (Nigerian government employed a lot of people under a program it calls SUREP and gives them around #10,000)
Well, that`s the best government can do as far as creating jobs is concern.
I have asked people this question many times and I will ask you too. How do we get to create many jobs?
The answer is, by creating many profitable businesses.
Who then can create profitable business?
I hope you won`t tell me that government can do that, because it can`t.
It would have be a nice thing if government can employ 200,000 citizen to Nigerian Army, 150,000 to Nigerian Police, 100,000 to the Road Safety Commission, 100,000 to its ministries, etc. every year.
That`s the only things government own and have and can run, and as you can see, nor of the above mentioned sectors is directly profitable.
Government doesn`t make money through Army. It doesn`t make money through police, road safety or any other employee of it (though some money may come in through them, such money cannot even pay 1% of the required salary, so it`s not profitable)
What actually am I saying here?
Even in a perfect political and economic condition, government is not able to employ its citizen.
Even in advanced countries like United States, government is only able to employ 8 percent of the total working force.
What happens to the remaining 92%?
They are either employed by other privately owned businesses or they employ themselves.
And I can tell you that most of the 8% employed by the US government are not profitable employees. Profitable employees are those who are directly working to create revenue that is more than the salary you`re paying them.
If I employ 10 people and the total salary I’m paying them is #700,000 every month but their contributions earn my business #1.2 million, then they are profitable employees. However if as I’m paying them #700,000, their contribution is earning my business #150,000, they are not profitable employees.
If you have profitable employees, you can expand your business and employ more people. If you have non-profitable employees, you will soon get out of the business or you`re paying them from another source of income (as government is doing with most of its employees)
The non-profitable employees are mostly what government can employ. One set back here is that, government cannot increase the numbers of its employees at will (since they are not profitable).
Let me show you example.
About 7 years ago Dangote was having around 11,000 employees. Today he may be having 30,000 employees (or more). Why? He`s richer now because he makes his employees profitable, because he`s having profitable businesses.
Government cannot start, run or maintain profitable businesses, so they cannot have profitable employees, meaning that they cannot actually keep on employing citizens.
That`s why they only employ to sectors that are compulsory for the security of lives and properties and for the smooth running of economy and governance (Police, Army, schools, electricity, water and governments` ministries)
This is my conclusion, which is the truth.
If government has failed us at all, it has done so by not providing conducive environment and social amenities you and I need to create businesses.
Government has not failed us by not providing jobs.
Job creation is my responsibility and yours, unfortunately, I’m the only one thinking in this direction.
Maybe I’m a fool?