Graduates searching for unavailable jobs, says Olanipekun - PUNCH
BY Olufemi Olaniyi
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has said the growing rate of unemployment in the country should be a great concern to governments at all levels.
Olanipekun, who is also the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, said Nigeria appeared not to be bothered by the danger posed by the huge population of unemployed persons in the country.
He said this on Saturday at the 12th and 13th convocation of the university.
He said, “So many graduates are being yearly produced by the 170 universities in Nigeria to join the teeming crowd in the unemployment market, roaming the streets aimlessly and frustratingly searching for jobs which are not in view, and which are not being created or provided by government.
“Yet, governments at all strata in Nigeria surprisingly appear not to be bothered about the dangers latent and inherent in youth unemployment in the country.”
Olanipekun said the unemployment rate in the country had been worsened by the outbreak of COVID-19 which resulted in massive job loss.
He said, “By data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in August 2020, the unemployment rate in Nigeria rose to 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020, translating to an alarming increase from 23.1% in the third quarter of 2018.
“The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, also raised the alarm that the unemployment rate in Nigeria would reach a crescendo percentage of 33.5% by the end of 2020.
“We are inching towards the end of 2021 and any accurate data, honestly and unbiasedly generated, would put the unemployment rate at not less than 40% as at now.”
The Vice Chancellor of the ACU, Prof. Timothy Adebayo, said 2,111 students comprising 991 for the 2019/2020 session, 1,120 for the 2020/2021 session, as well as, 473 postgraduate students graduated.
He said 85 of the graduates bagged First Class.
The university conferred honorary doctorate degrees on Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); the Primate Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba; and the retired Archbishop of Lagos Province of Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Ephraim Ademowo.