Nigeria to hand jobless youth 25 dollars a month from 2016

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Unemployed youth in Nigeria are due to start receiving 5000 Naira, just about 25 dollars a month, if the government’s compensation plan for 2016 is approved. An estimated 40 million youth can’t find work in Nigeria and the government says it will start paying the monthly stipend besides its attempts at creating employment opportunities.

Okey Obiechena is a job seeker whom struggles through everyday to find work. Walking the streets of the Nigerian capital, in search of a job. It’s been 10years since he graduated from school and he’s not been lucky enough to get a one. But one of the best places to find job opportunities is the newspapers so Okey doesn’t miss out on visiting newsstands regularly and hoping that someday his luck would shine.

During his campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari pledged a monthly 5000 Naira equivalent of 25 dollars for every unemployed youth. It can hardly feed an urban youth for a week but Okey thinks its a good start.

“The Five thousand Naira Cannot really serve, but it’s better than nothing… If they can maintain it, as time goes on, I believe the promises they promised to Nigerians would definitely come to pass there would be enough of Job opportunities or the youths to key in”. Okey Obiechena, job seeker

Previous administrations had had a raft of affirmative schemes to bridge the unemployment gap but not with much results.

Nigeria has about 40 million unemployed graduates. As such President Buhari’s government will have to spend unto 1 billion dollars annually to sustain the scheme. A huge bill for the federal government with a shrinking economy. But Development Expert Ezenwa Nwagu feels that although such interventions may come handy, it’s not enough to solve the massive unemployment problem.

“I don’t think in such a way, in my view will address the challenge of unemployment. Except we industralize, except we’re able to also galvanise cottage industries, rework the power sector to be able to allow young people to set up on their own very little things that they can set up, we may just be scratching the challenge of unemployment.” Ezenwa Nwangu, development expert

However Ezenwa believes the youths have a better chance with the current government more because the pressure is on the government to make things right.

“The young people would place that demand on him. Governments all over the world behave in the same manner except there’s citizen oversight, there’s demand on the supply side. You’re not likely going to get that result that you’re looking for. But I’m optimistic that he will leave Nigeria youths better because young people are galvanised to make that demand on him” Ezenwa Nwangu, development expert

Past Public policies directed at addressing youth unemployment have faced different challenges such as poor funding and lack structures to manage the initiatives. But this time round, Nigerians are hoping that the present government can walk the talk.

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