If there is anything well understood by every family in Nigeria and Africa that should be unemployment.
If you search very well in any extended family, you will see someone who has finished university or polytechnic a few year ago and till date still looking for job.
That`s to talk about unemployment, not under-employment, since the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria only report unemployment as “measures of the number of people actively looking for job as a percentage of the labour force”
But what about millions who are underemployed or underpaid?
Being underemployed or underpaid, in my opinion, is just as bad as being unemployed.
There has been so much opinion about what causes unemployment in Nigeria, Africa and every other places in the world.
Some people blame government, others blame bad economy.
In my opinion, these people are wrong.
Economy and government may be contributing agents to the woe of unemployment, but there is one “man” who is the real cause of unemployment.
The name of that “man” is school.
Wait! Let me explain.
Whenever we have a problem, our first task is to identify what is the cause of our problem and why is it the cause.
If we miss this face in our solution finding process, we`ve missed solution itself.
I guess the whole world continues blaming the wrong “person” for unemployment and that`s the reason why the rate of unemployment is growing worse every day.
Why school is the cause of unemployment and what is the solution?
Borrow me your mind and let`s imagine this scenario together.
Africans give birth to about 20 million children (or more) every year. Two years after, these children will be taken to prisons (sorry, schools).
They will start learning alphabet, figures and other basic academic stuff, which is very good.
As these children continue with school, it only takes a few years before they will be brainwashed to think only in direction of job, “good job”.
Before an average child finishes junior secondary school (that`s the first three years in secondary school), he must have started dreaming of working for a bank, an oil company, a big hospital or just any other business.
These children will not (never) think of creating or building a company… because they were never taught to think in that direction.
Am I making some sense with my analyses?
Now tell me, if in a country (Nigeria, Kenya or South Africa for example) two million children are given birth to and are trained just as explained above… in the way of job, by the time those children become 30 years old (and every one of them is searching for job), who will provide those jobs?
I have asked these questions many times and people usually wonder how simple the mathematics is, though some still give me silly answers such as, “government will provide jobs for them” or “they should become self-employed”.
These two answers are silly (just as silly as people who think in those directions).
First let`s talk about people becoming self-employed.
I have written here that a Nigerian state governor is ignorant because he also think in that direction.
This is what I want to ask you: how easy is it to make a chicken fly? How easy it is to make a dog climb tree?
Difficult, very difficult.
But think about it. Chicken has feathers just like eagle and dog has four legs just as monkey. Chicken cannot fly high because it was never trained to fly. Dogs cannot climb tree like monkeys because it was never trained to do so.
How hard is it for our universities graduates to be self-employed?
Just as hard as it is for a chicken to fly.
How hard is it for our polytechnics graduates to be self-employed?
Just as hard as it is for a dog to climb trees.
Stephen, but why?
Because they were never trained to think in the way of creating things of value, marketing them and making money through them. They have been trained all their lives to think and work in a ready-made business system.
Becoming self-employed requires a lot of creativity. You must be able to think, create and sell. Unfortunately, these people have spent 25-30 years in a prison (sorry, school) where creativity was never taught or inspired.
Becoming self-employed requires that you`re able to take little risks left and right (at least if you want your business venture to grow). Unfortunately, our graduates have been trained to run away from risk and instead think of security (when in the real sense of life, security doesn`t exist. Now you see why I hate school).
What exactly is in the school curriculum that teaches skills needed to start a business? Or are you deceived too about that theoretical courses you offered that was called. “Entrepreneurship 101” or “Intro to business”?
Don`t be deceived!
Those courses were written by lecturers who never sold biscuit and are taught by lecturers who never market water. More so, they were never taught so that you will become an entrepreneur, instead, just to fulfil all righteousness of the curriculum.
So how can we hope to cure the disease of unemployment in Nigeria, Africa and the world through self-employment when we never taught our youths (practically) how to think, create and market values?
Let`s see how foolish is the second opinion (about asking government to create job).
This is sillier than the first argument yet, it is the most popular.
Can government create job?
Let`s see that mathematics.
What is the first thing we have to do if we must create jobs, many jobs for our youths?
We have to create businesses, I mean profitable businesses. Without many (thousands of) profitable businesses, unemployment will continue to be the biggest problem in Africa.
You agree with me? Of course you will. It`s only profitable businesses that can employee hundreds and thousands of people.
So let`s see the second question. Who can create, run and sustain a profitable business?
You make me laugh.
I have heard many people saying this many times, “let our government build companies that will employ our youths”.
Hahahaha…. Se company na bread and tea? Na so then they build am?
If you think government should build company, you must be thinking that what it requires to have a profitable company is money.
That will be wrong.
If I give you one million naira (or Shillings) today, I tell you, you cannot start and succeed in business with it, without needed business skills.
You tell me, which government (of any nation) ever run a successful company?
The answer is, no government of any nation has ever ran a successful business.
If for a mistake you have assumed that some of the “businesses” being run by some governments are successful, let me tell you their secret… monopoly.
Monopoly is a business system by which one single seller is allowed by the law to sell a particular product or offer a particular service.
That`s what Nigerian Nepa was (even till now, only in different form and names). That`s what Nigerian water cooperation is.
That`s what most of the governments` businesses are all over the world. That`s to show you how coward, incompetent and weak any government is, when it comes to managing a businesses.
Because it`s a known fact that government cannot manage a business, whenever governments want to get involve in a particular business, they know they have to create a monopolistic market or they will fail.
Why? Because government doesn`t have the necessary business skills to compete in the business world. Give Nigerian government 5 billion naira and give Dangote only one billion naira and let them both (a government of the whole country vs a single man) organize and compete in any given market. It will take Dangote only two years (or less) to have 70% shares of that market and just about five years, Nigerian government might have liquidated its own company.
If you don`t see it this way, you need a little research into how governments manage their investments in the past.
I analyzed that the only way we can reduce unemployment is to create profitable businesses. I claim that it`s silly to advise someone to be self-employed after haven trained him for 25 years on how to be an employee.
Now I’m proving to you that government cannot solve the problem of unemployment because it cannot create, run and manage a profitable business.
You may ask me, “Stephen, but why? Why can`t government create, run and manage businesses’?
Because the politicians (who are the decision makers for governments’ investments and businesses, were rarely trained business owners.
Make a list of the world presidents, prime ministers, governors etc. and tell me who they were before they became who they are now.
Some of them were lawyers, some were engineers, some were soldiers etc. only one out of a hundred of them was a business man. If someone was a soldier all his life and now president of Ghana, how do you expect such a person to make smart business decisions about government`s businesses and investments?
I have proved to you that school (by teaching all children to love job) is the cause of massive unemployment.
I have proved to you that it`s silly, stupid and senseless to advise our youths to be self-employed after haven brainwashed them for 25 years about job and security.
Since we know there is no more jobs, why don`t we start training our children how to create, run and manage businesses even right from their early age?
I have proved that government cannot build companies because it cannot manage business, profitably.
So what is the solution to the problem of unemployment in Nigeria, Africa and the world?
This is the simplest part of our discussion, yet it`s the hardest to follow.
It`s simple because if you were fully with me all through my above analyses, you must have seen it (obviously) what the cause of unemployment is and what will not be right solutions.
In the realm of man, whenever we discover the cause of a problem, the solution is right on our door-step (if we`re willing to take the right steps).
The solution to the problem of unemployment is for us to kill school.
I know that`s too harsh and I have no apology whatsoever. If the present school system continues to be our lord and god as we take it today, I prophesy that in the next 10 years, only one out of a hundred university graduates will be able to secure a job that can feed him.
The whole thing school is teaching is anti-creativity, anti-business-strength, anti-everything that can give us jobs.
I`m advocating for a new system of education which will build up our children to be thinkers, creators and sellers (of their ideas and themselves). I`m advocating for a new educational system that will not train people to be slaves, but warriors.
I`m advocating for a new educational system where the graduates will not be helpless, so they won`t depend on anybody or government, but themselves, their brains, their God-given skills and talent.
Such education will give us more jobs than we have people to do and our next problem will be scarce labour, instead of scarce job.
Unfortunately, such education is difficult to adopt by the world because it`s more tedious to operate it.
What is the solution?
Only you can give yourself (and your children) such education.
Education is the solution to the problem of unemployment in Nigeria, Africa and the world.
When I say education here, I didn`t mean to say school. Forget school for a moment. That “guy” doesn`t give the right kind of education we need in this era.
When I talk about education, I mean seeking knowledge that will equip your mind with strengths, creativity and skills needed to create the kind of life you desire either by creating a great product, rendering a great service or selling your talents and giving values to people in exchange for their money.
Develop the habit of reading books written by great men and women. Develop the habit of reading books written by entrepreneurs and which teach you how to be a successful business owner (like these great business books).
If we equip our brains on how to create, run and manage businesses, we`ll have courage and skills to succeed in business world. We will have more successful business. We`ll have many jobs and our unemployment rate will drop to near nothing.
This is what you have to do. This is what all our youths have to do. This is what will solve our problem of unemployment.