The recent announcement by the Nigeria Police on the excessive turn out of people applying for recruitment into the law enforcement agency, affirms the critical state of the nation’s unemployment crisis, analysts say.
As at 1:00pm, 2nd Jan 2018, the Police Service Commission (PSC) said it had received applications from 242,455 persons in its on-going recruitment exercise, even though it plans to enlist only 10,000 of these numbers into the Nigeria Police Force.
This figure shows an excess of more than 232,000 applicants vowing for the positions, a number analysts say is a tip of an iceberg of how Nigerians jostle for jobs as falling infrastructural development and slowdown in economic activities have forced companies turn off the tap of recruitment.
This number of applications that the police received as at that date implies that for each successful applicant, 24 others will be rejected. That is, assuming that the applications stop at this number, which is unlikely.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that the rate of unemployment has been on a consistent increase in the past three years, settling as high as 23.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018 from 18.8 percent recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.
In nominal terms, a total of 20.9 million Nigerians are unemployed, signalling that about 3.1 million people have entered into the unemployment trap in less than a year. The NBS had earlier in Q4 2017 reported the number to be 17.8 million.
“I am not surprised at the statistics released by the Nigerian police with regards to the number of participants that signified interest as against those that are required as it is an indication of the massive unemployment in the society,” says Timothy Olawale, Director-General, Nigerian Employers Consultative association.
“There is no way that the government despite all its efforts in creating jobs, is going to succeed if the focus is on white-collar job creation alone, which is what they are throwing up,” Olawale said.
An average university student in Nigeria spends about 4 years in the university, if and only if the Academic Staff Union of Universities and /or the Non Academic staff union does not embark upon any strike whatsoever.
For about two months now, teachers in public universities in Nigeria have been on an indefinite strike designed to compel the federal government to meet their complaints on issues including poor funding, poor remuneration and low infrastructural developments in school.
“It is not as if there are no jobs in the country, but the skills required to match these jobs are not there. That is why we say the government should identify what those skills are and make concerted efforts to develop capacity in those skills; that way our youth will fit into those jobs that are available,” Olawale said.
“Furthermore, there is the need to imbibe in our youths the entrepreneurial spirit so that they can be self-employed,” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in November last year, announced the approval of a new salary package for police personnel “with a view to restoring its lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country”.
A statement by the PSC’s acting Head, Press and Public Relations, Aaron Kaase, shows that of the total applicants, Niger State led with 15, 633 applications, followed by Kano State with 15, 079, Katsina State, 14, 582, Bauchi State, 12, 652, Kaduna State, 13, 882 and Adamawa State with 11, 449 applicants.
Bayelsa State had the lowest applications of 1, 258, followed by Lagos State, 1, 358, Ebonyi State, 1, 659 and Anambra State, 1,618.
Also, of the total 242, 455 applications received so far, 212, 716 were males while 29, 694 were females.
He said Benue State had the highest number of female applicants with 2,251, followed by Akwa Ibom State with 1, 772, while Osun State was third with 1,721; Zamfara State has the lowest number of female applicants with 27.