Why most Nigerian graduates don’t get a job

The importance of a job has always been since the earliest times. Everybody once had a job from the start, in fact, creation itself was a job. Everything that surrounded the early man had a dint of job in it. Truth to tell God does respect a hard worker, little wonder the tower of babel project was stopped by the almighty because of the unquenchable quest for achievement that heralded the construction of the tower. on further pondering, the question ‘what is a job’ comes to mind again nagging and niggling, some people even use other words to describe a job, words like occupation and career are used frequently. Although there might not be a consensus definition, but a job is an essential tool in paying the bills. My definition might be a bit cheesy but that is what a job does. With a job, basic obligations are met; among these obligation include feeding, shelter, health services, and some obligations akin to Nigerians: money for fuel for generator, ‘aso ebi’, bribe for the police at check point e.t.c. In getting this job an understanding is reached, in the sense that there is a need for a minimum of university education that does  not qualify you totally because the job market is already saturated. To shed more light on university education, the grade is of  essence because finishing school with a second class lower makes the situation even more precarious unless you are highly ‘connected’. It would interest you to know that, with the trend of failed companies and the heart wrenching economic times, getting a job has even become harder. Am sure you will ask ‘where there jobs before?’. Apart from the niggling economic crises, are Nigerian graduates really prepared? It is worthy to note that we presently have a university system in Nigeria that has placed less emphasis on the personal development of the individual, but more emphasis on grades. I think that a very prominent problem in the system is the emphasis on certificates and not what an individual can do. Education is light they say, but an education that pays emphasis on grades, not development, is like lighting the candle and putting it under the bed while you try to see. At first a restructuring of the educational system should be of the essence in tackling this problem.

        Secondly, there is a problem of value system. It is evident that we have a mortified value system in this country and that has rubbed on the youth, despite the fact that you need the prerequisite qualification and despite the shout about no jobs, some youths in Nigeria still get jobs because of their good attitude. I remember the story of a friend that got a job just by greeting an elderly man at the gate, who turned out to be the head of the interview panel, although i know we will not always have it this simple but efforts must be made at enhancing character.
                 Another fundamental factor is the government. The government oversees the economy and does make efforts at creating jobs, but reverse is the case in Nigeria. It is sad that we have a government that has systematically neglected the youths like a nursing mother hating the site of a soiled diaper, but thanks to democracy, there is a new light that can only get brighter with time. The government factor is key because stability matters before provision of jobs.
         It should be stated that the cry for jobs by youths should be redressed. A key point in all this is that every youth should be able to create a job; This ushers in the next point that why most graduates do not have a job is that they have not created one. we all understand that there is a tough economic climate out there. Also the educational system and lack of business skills among graduates has been a bane, but there should be a redefined passion at entrepreneurship by the graduates. If a graduate cannot get a job he should provide one by starting up anything he finds his passion in. It is a pity that education has increased our stereotypes and we have become selective even in poverty. Everybody wants to do a office job that is not there again. The world we live in today, people work from their rooms and they make profit. Another problem i see is starting. The truth must be told-all start ups are hard. There is no free lunch anywhere, but with persistence success is achieved. Everything cannot just change in a clean sweep, it takes time. the truth is, working for somebody can never give you financial independence, it starts from doing something for yourself. Starting small is the name of the game, and a concise work must be done at ensuring that we revolutionize the economy, by rekindling an entrepreneurship mindset.
with all intent and purposes why most Nigerian graduates don’t have a job is because they have not created one. As Isaac Newton clearly states: ‘the height that great men attained was not by a flight but through handwork that they did while their counterparts whiled away the time’.


  1. Not every graduate stand the chance of creating a job in yhe absence of jobs. Perhaps, you are referring to poly graduates. The labour mkt is never saturated if the right thing is done. I’m using education as a case study: UNESCO allows for students teacher ratio of 1:25 respectively. Go to public schools, there is a flagrant violation of it. If govt comply to this, many teachers will be employed. Let me turn to to other sectors. It has been a burning issue in the nat’l public discourse, the alarming rate of ghost workers! If something right is done, people will take such positions and it will definitely reduce unemployment. In the military and other paramilitary bodies, it has been reported that the population is not enough to oversee the teeming population of Nigeria. Yet, govt have not done anything to employ people.
    In conclusion, I’m of the opinion that the constantly burgeoining rate of embezzling public funds that far surpasses the rate of replacement is the major cause of unemployment in Nigeria.

  2. creating jobs by unemployed people is not the problem but the start up capital is the key. govt (local govts, constituencies) should embark on realistic empowerment programmes, support the beneficiaries financially and to also give them a close monitoring so as to ensure their success and sustainability.

  3. I think people need to know that the system of government creating jobs is not sustainable. The best the government should do is to create a business friendly environment so that businesses can flourish. When businesses are thriving there will be increase in employment. There are two options for the government: employ more people and forget infrastructures or focus on providing infrastructure which mean cutting down employment to reduce recurrent expenditure which I think is the best way to go. The policy of recruiting more workers is unsustainable. My advice is for people to go for real education on how to employ themselves. Those who can think will see that times have changed. Start your own business. Nigeria is a great place to start even if you don’t have any money. If you need help and counseling on starting your own business contact me [email protected]

  4. @ezi you are totally wrong in your assessment of this issue it is not govt job to feed us. In every developed economy the private sector is the largest employer of labor not government. putting money to pay unproductive workers is counter productive and waste of funds govt should treat the peoples money as capital and invest it to yield profit for the people that way we can have a sustainable economy.
    Nigerians should be industrious like BRIC nations look at all developing economies and you will see that they are driven by the private sector. govt only role is to provide an enabling environment and the rest will fall into place. I agree with the writer of this article as I am also a graduate who is starting up his own business without any govt help or family help.

  5. Its high tym our youths startd thinkin well. Evry1 want 2b rich bt only few ar really workin 2wards it. Do u tink u can bcom rich by workin 4 odas? Our brain can tink of anytin; it can help us solve any problem we desire 2 solve. Our problem is dat we ar nt really ready 2 pay d sacrifices. Here in UNIBEN, we have formed an entrepreneurship organisatn, where we remind ourselves of d need 2 establish our own bizneses. We ar DON BLISS ENTREPRENEURS. Are u in uniben, and want 2 join us? U ar very much welcomed. We also have d intentn of establishin dis entrepreneurer organisatn in all tertiary institutions acros d nation. Pls help us 2 start it in ur skul. B a partner wit DON BLISS ENTREPRENEURS, and u will never regret u did.

  6. The problem of nigeria is not employment it is our educationl system.first and formost we should understand dat our university system produces million of job seekers everyear insted of job creators.secondly some hav created job by themselves,go to computer village ikeja and see for yourself yet you call them thieves,so hav resulted to okada drivers yet u call them miscrant..oneday we shall be manufacturing atomic bombsmayb by the the govt will sit up.it s a pity dat most rich people has taking this wicked opputunity to invest in the same system they knw is not working by creating more universities not minding the products bt are only intersted in the huge school fees they can obtain from these poor parent,thereby claiming they are helping the educational system…….i regret the fact that i went to these type of universities insted of investing such money into a profitable venture.am proud of every nigerian graduate becouse whenever we go out there we do great…here in nigeria it is what the university gives us that we came out wth.gabbage in gabbage out…

  7. Thank you for such a great writeup.Most African nations not just Nigeria are into this mess too…Our unfortunate black race has many many bad effects in our ability to think like our european counterparts.Our mentality as Africans are still very low..and I’m afraid this is perpetual.There is no efficient tax system in Nigeria, our force men are looking to enrich their pockets, our politicians are university drop outs so they don’t value our educational system..They instead send their kids abroad…
    Here’s a checklist for a failed nation:
    1. There are no good news coming out of Nigeria, only bad news .
    2. Many youths,even graduates heard about computers in their 20’s.
    3. Our lecturers are not well educated..Most of them who are don’t upgrade their knowlegde..instead they use past question of 1995 to set 2013 questions.
    4. We still believe that witchcraft and voodoo affects our destinies so we take all our hard earned money to churches..and enrich the pastors.
    5. Our graduates are now becoming lazy..They depend on the A’s & C’s they made in school through ‘Giraffing’ to get a Job..After school they thank their God and vouch never to go through such stress again.
    6. Our youths are indulging in things that are not productive, like Boys watch all the EPL & UEFA matches and spend the whole day either in the newspaper stand gossiping about how bad politicians are treating them or how C.Rolnado of Real Madrid is the best skipper in the world ..wasting valuable time on nonsense..Our Girls are to busy with social networking and pinging with the latest gist about Wande Coal and Kanye West.Our wifes sit at home watching Big Brother and Africa Magic for the rest of their lives without thinking for once that if anything happens to their husband they’ll be in trouble.NO body wants to study or work hard for results, they keep blaming it on the Govt..But Govt’s job is to provide basic amenities not to put money into their pockets..This is so in developed countries too.