Jobless Graduates Form Association Online

Some Nigerians youths have formed a group online with a view to tackling joblessness in the country.

On the Facebook page of the group known as the National Association of Unemployed Graduates, the youths said the initiative was set up to solve the problem of unemployment in Nigeria.

The move, they added, was to “cleanse the country of the virus called unemployment” by holding government at all levels accountable.

A message on the group’s Facebook page said their coming together became imperative as the menace of “unemployment is eating us up like a viral disease.”

According to them, inspite of their various ethnic backgrounds, they are united in the fight against unemployment.

They lamented the situation where applicants who were merely trying to survive were forced to part with money to secure employment forms.

The youth, who hold regular discussions and chats on Facebook, Twitter and on an online forum, said they were determined to address the socio-economic imbalances for which the unemployed Nigerian graduates are victims.

Members of the association on Facebook as of Thursday are 801 in number.

One Amobi Omekwu, who is a member of the group in a post on the Facebook page said, “I’m not into this struggle because I want the government to employ me. No! I might never be a direct beneficiary of the benefits. I only see a society where there is need for education; a society that rewards hard work and education; a society where employers do not lay ambush and pay graduates stipends.

“A society where graduates are entrepreneurs by choice; a society where graduates are respected, where everybody feels a measure of joy because things have taken shape. That society is the New Nigeria. Let us all join hands in this struggle which is a collective effort.”

A member of the group, who dropped a comment on with the name Kemtol said the absence of enabling business environment for youths to be self-employed has shot up the rate of unemployment in the country.

Kemtol wrote, “The association was formed as a yardstick for the unemployed voices to be heard. We see different anti-government groups springing up. Some of them are educated but because they have no source of livelihood, they have taken to crime.

“Another aim of the association is to motivate youths in the area of self-empowerments provided there is an enabling environment. A few years back, I had a setback in my business and I was thrown into the labour market. For three years, I roamed the streets of Lagos without a job and I had a son depending on me.

“I learnt how to make liquid soap, insecticides and the likes. But I have not been able to start a business of my own due to the requirements demanded by the regulatory body. The requirement would have cost me nothing less than a million naira. There is no enabling environment for upcoming and small scale entrepreneurs.”

Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday, the coordinator of the group, Ehis Abuya, a 2010 graduate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the social media helped greatly in mobilizing his fellow jobless youths to join the association.

He disclosed that members of the association held their inaugural offline meeting in Lagos on September 7.

He noted that while the group will be engaging the government on the provision of employment opportunities and enabling environment, it would also be liaising with corporate bodies and relevant government agencies with a view to mentoring them to becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Abuya said, “Besides the issues of unemployment, we will be making our voices heard against underemployment and contract staffing by various corporate bodies which is now the order of the day.

“The association has been receiving widespread acceptance as some Nigerian youths who left the country, due to hardship and unemployment, have called me to laud the initiative. That is why I appreciate the advantages, which the advent of social media brought to our generation. This wouldn’t have been possible without the new media.”

Olusegun Fapohunda
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