ILO’s Warning On Unemployment Instructive

ILO’s Warning On Unemployment Instructive

With a global focus to deal with issues relating to employment and labour matters, the International Labour Organisation, ILO, has not lost focus as it has warned that millions in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan countries face the dire risk of high unemployment this year.

The ILO expressed worry that the Russia-Ukraine war pushed millions more Nigerians into poverty in 2022 and many would be further impoverished in the New Year.

The United Nations agency, whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice by setting international labour standards, stated in a report which may not be taken seriously by nations. We are worried that the unavoidable country to country response to the situation may just be because there is a preponderance of domestic crises in various countries.

According to the report, despite having enjoyed higher oil prices in 2022, there are widespread warnings that current monetary tightening to fight inflation could overshoot, potentially leading to high levels of unemployment in the country.

The ILO also said that there has also been a recent increase in the proportion of countries in Africa at high risk of debt distress.

The report read partly, “Positive growth in 2022 was supported by the particularly strong performance of hydrocarbon exporters such as Nigeria and Angola, thanks to higher prices and increased output.

“There are widespread warnings that current monetary tightening to fight inflation could overshoot, potentially leading to high levels of unemployment”.

According to the report, indicators of total working hours and employment suggest that a relatively quick labour market recovery took place in 2021. But that cannot be said in the subsisting year. It is even worse that there are various other worries bordering on effective fiscal governance.

Unemployment in the scale that we have is not new in our polity but what appears lacking is the frontal approach to scale down the magnitude of a situation that appears unprecedented. We do not need the International Labour Organisation, ILO, to alert us that we headed for a colossal global position in the index of unavailing nations.

With our status continent-wide, it is unrealistic that we are still grappling with element matters of gross national unemployment. The statistic is disastrous and unbecoming, given that we have prided ourselves as status prodded as unmatchable.

We are not unaware that the global tendency points to the falling standard in terms of unemployment rating but ours has plummeted so badly that it suggests we had gone to sleep when others were taking on remedial measures. We are wont to blame the COVID-19 pandemic that had slowed down the global economy with its corollary afterwards. We cannot be talking of an economy that has not responded to the issue of unemployment and pretend that we are having a sound footing economically.

Every year, thousands of graduates pass through our institutions with high hopes that they would be absorbed in the government service across various strata of the federal, states and local government but this expectation is dashed by the inability of these organs to absorb them. The capacity to do so is inhibited by dwindling resources and poor capacity by them to respond in that regard.

Unemployment is a social burden for which all strata of governments should enforce a regime that can curtail the huge concerns arising there from.  

Our governments at various levels notwithstanding their political affiliations have enough parameters to deal with the menace of unemployment.

Where are the agencies, the portals and so-called NGOs who pride themselves as having the capacity to empower Nigerians to be either self-employed or to be employed by some entities. We are endowed with the capacity and character to deal with our unemployment situation.

ILO’s position on our unemployment status is a wake-up call and we must rise to the occasion to handle it.    

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