Your Excellency to be, this SOS is to familiarize you with the realities of the labour market, and to inform you that since the commencement of the on-going political dispensation that It has never been easy for those that daily find themselves in the labour market. I must confess that I chose this medium as I believe it would get to you in no time given the popularity and acessibility of the medium. On a similar note, I would in this context chose to address you as ‘Your Excellency to be’ as I have no power to discern whether you would truly win the forthcoming election scheduled for February 14, 2015 or not. It is only the omniscience God that has such power. You may have been wondering why I refused to drop this at your campaign office. If I had sent it through your campaign office, there is no doubt that my efforts would have been frustrated by some of your belligerent, overzealous and obsequious supporters by confining the message to the dustbin without even letting you know about it.
However, it is a crucial matter that can never be ignored. For ages the issue of unemployment has become so politicized to the extent that politicians would promise Nigerians of jobs only to complete their tenures without fulfilling their promises and thereby leaving many that placed their hopes on their promises stranded in the labour market. There is no denying the fact that the hopeless realities that characterized today’s labour market were never imagined in the past by any of those that witnessed the boom period of the Nigerian labour market when undergraduates were fortunate enough to secure mouth-watering jobs even before graduation while some less fortunate ones secured well-paying jobs few months after graduation.
Your Excellency to be, I have been following your comments and promises regarding your determination and resolve to bring the issue of biting unemployment in the country to an end when voted into power as the country’s president. It is expedient to inform you in this piece that the issue of unemployment has gone beyond politicking and rhetorics. All Nigerians, whether employed or not now need a president that would go the whole hog to ensure that this problem is solved once and for all. The reason why you should be pragmatic and serious over this issue is that gone are the days when the labour market was seemingly in a perfect state that any experienced graduate was literarily sought after like a chaste bride by the recruitment teams of various multinational companies. Given my perception of your advanced age based on the pictures on your campaign posters, I am very sure that you were quite aware that some companies went as far as establishing their presence in some of the few universities that existed then apparently to catch young and brilliant students before they graduated. Though the foregoing may sound like a fairy tale to the youths of today but that was how promising the labour market was. Thank God you witnessed it!
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Your Excellency to be, against the foregoing pitiable background, have it at the back of your mind that when your tenure begin to count from May 29, 2015 that you are expected to hit the ground running in ensuring that you solve this cankerworm that is literarily eating deep into our national fabric. With this, it is very clear that all the promises you have been making regarding the issue of unemployment must be fulfilled.
I must confess that the primary objective of this piece is to familiarize you with the realities of the labour market to enable you plot the roadmap you would wish to take to ensure that this problem is solved, once and for all. Bear it in mind that for this problem to be solved that the issue of constant power failure need to be addressed as many companies and organizations that would have employed many unemployed Nigerians and foreigners are either shut down or struggling to survive due to the problem of power failure. Simply put, the issues of unemployment and power failure are composite. It therefore goes to say that providing employment for Nigerians beyond running one’s mouth on the platform of soapboxes need an attitude of serious mindedness. A friend of mine is won’t to say ‘It is a serious issue’ whenever he is faced with a difficult situation. Your Excellency to be, you are no doubt aware that there was a time when young school certificate holders were not denied the opportunities in the labour market as some of them secured jobs in both public and private organizations with little efforts. Some of the lucky ones among them rose through the ranks by attending short courses. Some of them that secured admissions to study in either local or foreign universities were granted study leave. With this, many ambitious youths were able to re-join the company that granted them study leave. Your Excellency, do not be flabbergasted when you come across any of them on the political turf running against you!
Your Excellency to be, have you ever pondered to ask, ‘Why is the mechanism of supply in the labour market far greater than that of demand?’The reason for the foregoing question is not far fetched as it would guide your conscience before you mount any of the soap boxes erected by your obsequious praise singers who are readily available to say ‘yes sir’ to your blah-blah-blah comments without bothering to ask you how you will go about fulfilling your promises. Your Excellency to be, as your comments and dispositions often suggest that you are cocksure of solving the unemployment problem when you become the president in the next political dispensation, are you aware that the labour market is saturated? Even those that are gainfully employed are literally hanging on the precipice of uncertainties as they could be thrown into the saturated labour market at any time for no good reason. The reason why this writer is sounding pessimistic is that you have not for once throughout your campaign tour told Nigerians how you intend solving the problem. From my observation, you are wont to sound rhetorical.
Your Excellency to be, before you continue making promises that you are likely not going to fulfill each time you step into any campaign ground, especially whenever you realized that you are been cheered by thousands of ‘cheermen’ in your party, I would love to ask you at this juncture, ‘How are you going to address the issue of some employers that are wont to greedily treat their workers in a way that is reminiscent of the days of slavery?’
Your Excellency to be, for you to really grasp the true picture of the ugly situation, it is enough to say that due to the saturation of the labour market that most graduate applicants now apply for lower jobs despite the fact that most of them are rebuffed by some employers who now seem to be making mockery of the situation. There are cases where young graduate applicants were contemptuously invited to participate in various recruitment exercises only to be collectively treated like the rag tag and bobtail.
Your Excellency to be, for it not to sound as if I am exaggerating, I can bet that you witnessed the period when secondary school students that were seemingly tired of continuing their education dropped out from class 4 in the secondary school, applied for what was then known as G4 certificate, while those who did not pass their school certificate examinations were rated as S.75 holders. Despite the collective low value of the foregoing certificates then, their holders were able to secure jobs as clerical assistants in some good organizations. Today, most of them may be seen in the camp of your opposing political party, and even within your party.
Your Excellency to be, the essence of the foregoing analysis is to let you and your campaign managers understand the reason the issue of unemployment is no laughing matter. The reason for this cannot be farfetched as it is very obvious that unemployment has remained one of the major factors causing insecurity in the country. Sir, if you continue playing politics with the issue of unemployment, you may end up your first tenure fighting insurgency as it is being fought today against the much-dreaded Boko Haram sect.
As you think out of the box with your campaign team on what solutions to apply against the scourge of unemployment when you get to power, the question you should not forget to ask is “What happened along the line that the labour market has become ignominiously saturated that some employers are now beginning to see our graduates as hewers of wood and drawers of water?
Your Excellency to be, the reality of the fact that vacancies that exist in government ministries, departments and agencies are no longer advertised for the benefits of all Nigerians through the media or through official gazettes should be addressed within the few months of your assumption office. I must confess that you should not mind my harsh tone in the foregoing view. My tone was necessitated by the urgency of the issue which has a ripple effect on other aspects of life. For instance, the unemployed cannot fend for himself; not to talk of fending for himself. He cannot make any meaningful contribution to the economy. He may become a security problem to your government when constituted.
Still in the same nexus, Information on vacancies existing in government establishments are somewhat shrouded in secrecy by top civil servants, which are later made known to politicians. It appears they have decided to make it secret only to be revealed to their close relations and political associates. The foregoing sums up one of the negative Nigerian factors called “man-know-man” syndrome which you are expected to fight as the next president. It is not an exaggeration to say that for any unemployed youth to secure job in any government institution these days that he must be literarily connected to any of the members of the ruling party; either at the local, state or federal level. Your Excellency to be, peradventure you come into power on May 29, 2015, you should please go the whole hog to ensure that you address this serious moral laxity that is peculiar with civil servants.
Your Excellency to be, without any iota of doubt, I am very sure that your tenure would usher in an atmosphere of change and fresh hope. With this, I am optimistic that you would reverse this extant situation that shows that government at all levels have shirked their responsibilities of creating jobs for the teeming youth population. It is very unfortunate that the critical issue of employment has now been politicized to the detriment of millions of Nigerians.
Your Excellency to be, since you have given me audience by reading this SOS up to this point, let me confide in you that in 1983 that I registered with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity as a job seeker. As expected then, I was assisted in securing an interview with a manufacturing company at Ilupeju, Lagos, though I was not employed. But it was a step in the right direction. Today, many vulnerable job seekers are left in the hands of dubious recruitment agencies that are at the moment mushrooming in all the cities and on the websites. Against this background, I would therefore wish you revive the federal ministry of labour and productivity and ensure that it registered its presence in all local government areas. Besides, the federal ministry of labour should actively be made to jointly work with National Directorate of Employment, Ministry of Statistics and registrars of higher institutions in the country.
Your Excellency to be, if it is possible, many Nigerians would be highly delighted to see that your tenure weed out all fake and self-acclaimed recruitment agencies that are wont to drop names of reputable organizations as their clients in order to hoodwink unsuspecting and desperate job seekers who are often fleeced through payment for form, processing fee, CV design fee and various spurious names invented to rip off job seekers.
Sir, one thing I would want you to know at this campaign period that is compelling you to tour almost all the political constituencies is that you should bring sanity to the labour market peradventure you are elected into power. The reason for this plea cannot be far fetched when seen from the prism of the fact that the sector is suffering from abysmal negligence and levity being exhibited by the government at all levels. In other climes, the issue of spurious employment agencies ripping off vulnerable youths would never come to play as there would have been statutory measures to nip it in the bud.
More so, it appears governments have literally conspired not to create jobs for the unemployed. Or how else can one explain the prevailing state of laxity from government quarters, so to say? Today, most businessmen are frustrated from businesses as a result of epileptic power supply, unjustified and multiple tax payments to virtually all levels of government and prevailing high interest rates charged on money borrowed from banks. Given these militating factors, many of your supporters are hopefully looking up to you to assume the disposition of a problem-solver once you assume office as the number citizen of this great nation. Added to this, patriotically the private sector is enable to create jobs for the unemployed.
Your Excellency to be, I would like to advise you that if you are not sure of what to do regarding unemployment problem that it is high time you stopped making such promise at campaign venues and in your future interactions with the media. Why I am advising you in this brotherly manner is that you have an integrity to protect. Also, the insincerity being exhibited by most of our leaders is palpable. For instance, most ministers at every given forum are wont to rhetorically boast that if any particular project within the purview of their respective ministries was executed, it would create millions of jobs for the youths. This rhetoric of job creation, in my view, has been overflogged by our political leaders. To me, they only use this rhetoric to achieve cheap political gains. For the umpteenth time, Nigerians have been told that millions of jobs would be created in the oil and gas sector. But alas! as at the time of writing this piece, job opportunities in the oil and gas sector has remained an illusion to many job seekers. Nigerians have equally been told the same story by political office holders in the agricultural sector. Surprisingly, the only opportunity that is available in the agricultural sector today is that of becoming a traditional peasant farmer in a rural area. Your Excellency to be, this is a serious issue to be addressed when you assume power as the president come May 29, 2015.
In my view, ensure that you kick-start your expected tenure with the creation of jobs for unemployed Nigerians. You should at all cost not think of politicizing the issue of unemployment. Many Nigerians want the boom era of the labour market to begin to manifest through your administration. It is possible only if you are sincere that you are set to change Nigeria for the better.
Finally, ensure that you patriotically address every issue you raised at campaign ground and let your supporters understand how you are likely going to go about finding solutions to any of the issue. Do not get involved in the campaign of calumny or smear campaign.
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