Unemployment sometimes can be a dehumanizing situation. Especially when the person in question has made several attempts, written multiple aptitude tests, crammed may scriptures, rehearsed many interview questions and has become the encyclopaedia of job openings. A young woman, who finished with second class upper from one of the Nigerian universities once spoke of how after a couple of years idleness she was so desperate that she wasn’t sure if she would not compromise her values just to get a job even if the pay is peanut. Just something to redeem her badly bettered human dignity. Ye her case is not in isolation.
The 2014 estimate of the Nigeria population is said to have reached about 180 million. The National Population Commission would have us believe that a whooping half of the population is made up of youth, defined as individuals between 15 and 34 years of age.
Unfortunately, as the youth population grows, so does the unemployment rate. In fact, unemployed youth numbered about 11.1 million in 2012. The Brookings institute said by parameters of age, younger youth struggle even more to find jobs: At least two-thirds of unemployed youth are between 15 and 24 years of age. And, in terms of gender, available statistics show that a majority of unemployed youth are female. So despondency sets in, the erosion of dearly held values and the emergence the desperation PLC of Nigeria.
It even gets worse, analysis of youth unemployment by geographical/settlement location (rural and urban areas) indicates that youth unemployment is mostly in rural areas and rapidly growing: From 2010 to 2011, the share of unemployed youth in rural areas increased from 47.59 percent to 59.95 percent. The population of unemployed youth in rural areas rose from 2.9 million in 2008 to about 5.9 million in 2012. A brewing army of malcontent.
I remember now the dehumanizing of the Nigerian youths that happened on the March 15 2014 at the Immigration recruitment exercise. About 18 job seekers, young graduates with the whole of their lives before them with certificates ranging from master’s degree to bachelor’s degree, Higher National Diploma, National Certificate in Education and National Diploma died and many were injured. Yet each of those applicants reportedly paid the sum of N1,000 as application fee. Millions of job seekers were said to have filled up the venues of the exercise, mostly stadia. Seven were confirmed dead after a stampede at the National Stadium, Abuja, venue of the exercise in the Federal Capital Territory. The 60,000-seater stadium was filled up. In Minna three job seekers, out of the 11,000 candidates who converged on the Women Day Secondary School Minna for the recruitment exercise died when security agencies fired tear-gas at anxious applicants.
In Rivers state at least, five persons, including a pregnant woman, lost their lives during a stampede at the Port Harcourt Liberation Stadium venue of the recruitment exercise. Over 35,000 job seekers showed up. In Kwara over 22,000 applicants showed up. In Lagos the crowd was beyond measure. Thousands of applicants had besieged the venue as early as 7am. Some nursing mothers, pregnant women and persons with disabilities also came for the recruitment exercise. I can go on and on.
Now I believe that government has the responsibility to conduct stochasticity tests and make projections as regards youths and in coming graduates to strategize on how they can be channeled towards nation building and gainful engagements. But dear friend, I’m also a fanatic of self responsibility.
Listen to me, many successful people have at one time or the other applied the “Eagle- eye Principle” in their lives and it had translated into great successes in their careers, businesses and personal lives.
What do I mean by “Eagle- eye Principle”?
It is the mind-set that makes one senses, spots and takes swift actions toward opportunities. This principle mirrors the way the eagle’s eyes work.
According to Animal Scientists’ discoveries, eagles have excellent vision. Their eyes are very large in proportion to their heads, and heavily loaded with sensory cells. They have about 1,000,000 light-sensitive cells per square millimetre of retina which is five times more than that of an average human which is 200, 000. Also, eagles have two fovea, a funnel-shaped part of the retina where vision is sharpest, while humans have only one. And where people see just three basic colours, eagles see five, enabling them to pick out even well-camouflaged prey. All these abilities enable eagles to narrow their focus on their prey as they set out to get them. And no matter the obstacles, an eagle keeps it focus on the prey until it grabs it.
Dan and Frank Carney were examples of people who used this principle. In 1958, Dan and Frank Carney, 27 and 20, were college students in Wichita, Kansas, USA; and also workers in a grocery store. One day, during a conversation, a friend suggested how it would be a good idea to start up a pizza outlet after he read an article in The New York Post on how the dough-based product was becoming popular on the East Coast. But at that time, in Kansas region, where they lived, Pizza was not known. However, these brothers enthusiastically decided to give it a try. But there was a big problem; they didn’t have a clue on how to make pizza.
Rather than drop the idea at that point, they thought of something. They went in search of someone who knew how to make Pizza. They found John Bender, a serviceman who had worked in the Pizza industry in Indiana, and partnered with him.
That little step they took gave birth to Pizza Hut, which is now the World’s largest pizza company, with 6,200 sites in USA and more than 4,000 across the World, spread over 100 countries.
How sensitive are you to information around you?
Do you take actions toward doors of opportunities opened around you?
Remember, great opportunities come in tiny bits, hence you need an eye like that of an eagle to sense, spot and take desirable actions toward them. Don’t allow that information to go, take a bold step towards it.
Good things are not always accidental, they are made to happen.
Olajide A. Aribisala, a civil engineer turned motivational speakers holds a master’s degree in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom. A development and innovation consultant, he is the founder of the Ground-Breakers Forum and convener of the Abuja Independence Day Youth Summit. @mraribisala
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