The issue of Unemployment in the Nigerian society can not be over emphasized. with the growing number of graduates trooping out of the universities every year ending up jobless.
The former Nigerian president Olushegun Obasanjo took a bold step towards this menace when he urged all African leaders to take a critical look into this, and find a lasting solution to it.
As the former president hosted ECOWAS newly appointed president, Marcel Alain de Souza. He said the ECOWAS commission was established 41years ago but the expectations of the sub regional body is yet to be met. He urged the leaders to take the issue of unemployment very seriously because the unemployed youth are aggrieved and this may burst out into violence one day. He revealed that about 50% of the people in Nigeria are suffering from depression due to unemployment. And urgent measures should be taken to address this.
He said: “On the issue of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, I have maintained that all of us in West Africa, in our different countries and indeed in Africa, we are sitting on a keg of gun powder for as long as we do not pay adequate attention to youth unemployment.
“A situation where more than 50% of our youths are unemployed is extremely dangerous. We now have a situation in part of West Africa where people now are dying of starvation.
“Is it that we are not producing enough food or if we are producing what we produced evenly, whatever it is it is shameful, it has led us to be begging international community for supply of food to any part of West Africa, it is not right?”he went further to state that necessary attention had not been paid to the real objectives of the ECOWAS body. According to him: “So the attention that we should have paid to the original objectives which is economic integration, economic development, socio economic, economic progress, we have been diverted.
“Of course peace and security is the foundation of any socio-economic development and growth. Of necessity we have to pay attention to base on security.
“My involvement in Guinea-Bissau was an enduring involvement.
“I have been in that development when I was in government as President of Nigeria and Nigeria and ECOWAS appointing me as special envoy that kept my involvement and my interest.
“I want to say this that most of these conflicts, most of these causes of insecurity or breach of insecurity were because adequate attention had not been paid to what I will call inclusiveness, inclusiveness in terms of political, economic and social development of all our countries, inclusiveness gender wise, inclusiveness social wise, inclusiveness religious wise, inclusiveness ethnic wise and we must appeal to our leaders in our sub region to take these issue of inclusion very seriously”. The former Nigerian president who ruled the country from 1999 to 2007 stressed.