According to Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje, Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Nigeria has over 90 million unemployed youths and graduates.
He claims that the country has ten million out-of-school children, the majority of them are Almajiris.
Bugaje said the high percentage of unemployment was largely responsible for the country’s security concerns, speaking at the Science and Technology Forum’s (STF) Annual General Meeting in Kaduna.
He did say, however, that the government’s sole solution to the unemployment rate is to ensure that unemployed kids gain skills.
He claimed that among the unemployed youths, many have degrees and credentials from various educational schools across the country but are stranded on the streets with nothing to do.
“As we speak, the country’s unemployment rates are worrying because there are approximately 90 million unemployed youths in the country, the majority of them have degrees but no jobs.”
“Bangladesh sends its youths to Saudi Arabia and other nations to work as artisans. Finally, they receive foreign dollars to take home. So, why can’t we teach our children how to acquire skills?
“This is why we’re requiring our tertiary institutions to provide training in Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) because we’re hoping that by next year, we won’t be able to accredit any programmes that don’t offer TVET,” he explained.
“They are known as the anarchists,” he claimed of a gang of unemployed youngsters forming in Kano. They claim that the government has abandoned them, and that as a result, they would demolish any government installations they come across. For the time being, it is a small group, but we must act now before it grows and becomes a real security threat to the country.”
However, as a response to the country’s high unemployment rate, the NBTE president encouraged the Federal Government to ensure that skill acquisition courses are given priority in tertiary institutions.
Professor Ibrahim Mohammed-Dabo, the outgoing president of the STF, said the forum was founded 20 years ago by patriotic northern Nigerian scientists and engineers to promote science and technology for the development of the northern region.