Skill Acquisition, Unemployment And Standard Of Living In Nigeria

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Skill Acquisition, Unemployment And Standard Of Living In Nigeria


The current rate of unemployment in Nigeria is alarming and there is need to address the challenges encountered by students in the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills in Nigerian tertiary institution. This study analyzed skill acquisition, unemployment and standard of living in Nigeria. The study adopted survey research design. The target population of the study consists of 400-500 level students in Babcock University, Ilisan Remo, Ogun State who have undergone the course GEDS 400 or any other entrepreneurial course pertaining to skill acquisition. Stratified random sampling was adopted for this study in order to ensure that the students in their various departments were represented. Questionnaire were sued in collecting data for the study. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency, simple percentage and mean. The result of data analysis revealed that skill acquisition training has been significant to the Nigerian economy in terms of reducing unemployment and it had actually increased graduate’s standard of living to an extent. The study also revealed that inadequate laboratories and workshops and lack of entrepreneurship teachers, unavailability of relevant fund, inadequate time allotted for practical, learning environment not conducive, no good light system to empower available facilities and skills to be acquire are inadequate as the challenges they faced with their selected skills. The study recommends that government should equip tertiary institutions with physical facilities, modern equipment and laboratories in the different areas of skill acquisition. The study also recommends that teachers in the system should be trained, and retrained to be updated with new skills, new methodology and technology in the area of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition teaching and learning. Government should initiate a loan scheme for students that participate in skill acquisition programmes where they can assess some financial assistance towards meeting their needs to purchase equipment as future entrepreneurs.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

The Federal Republic of Nigeria gained independence from its British colonialist on 1st October, 1960. Nigeria is considered to be a blessed nation with natural resources like gold, crude oil, cotton, rubber and so much more. However, since that time Nigeria has faced one problem to another. Some of these problems facing Nigerian economy are corruption, increase in crime rate, poor educational system, poor infrastructure, High rate of unemployment and others. Unemployment is both a cause and effect of the poor economic situation. The increased rate of joblessness due to economic recession and at the same time negatively affecting the economy. Every year about 200,000 students graduate from their respective universities, however most of them are unable to find a job. Unemployment is really one of the most damaging problems in Nigeria, as many people get disappointed due to joblessness which in turn leads to crime among young people.

According to Bureau of statistics (2016) 38 percent of the population that falls within the employable age are unemployed and sixty-five percent of Nigerian youth face unemployment as at September 2016. The economically active or working age population is 15-64 years increased from 111.1 million in Q3, 2017 to 115.5million in Q3, 2018. The youths are the future of tomorrow however, in the Nigerian educational system, after spending 6-3-3-4 of educational system attaining a degree in a university, they are unable to get white collar jobs because of the skills they fail to possess, high competition in labour market, and lack of jobs. Today there are many unemployed graduates in the country. This is partly as a result of our long system of education that is more of grammar and not much of practical learning. It is evident that the highest number of unemployed is found in the African Continent. The truth remains that the major cause of the unemployment among vibrant youths is the lack of skill to back up what they learnt from their institutions of learning. “Skilled person can survive in any environment”. As water is very essential to human life, so is skill training and acquisition needed in the life of every serious minded human being. Skills can do a lot of great work in the life of every soul.

Skill acquisition is one of the methods provided by the government to tackle unemployment in Nigeria. It was introduced through the National Directorate of Employment by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The National Directorate of Employment is an organization created in November 1986 and began its full operation in January 1987. It was established under decree No.29 of 1989 which was replaced with ACT, CAP 250 of the laws of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999. The National Directorate of Employment introduced four major areas of intervention for mass job creation for the unemployed which were Vocational Skills Development, Entrepreneurship Development, Agricultural Skills Training and Public Works Programme. As the issue of unemployment continued to rise, the military government which was headed by General Ibrahim Babaginda, set up a committee headed by Stephen O. Chukwumah which was to the referred to as the Chukwumah Committee. The committee was charged with the mission of providing a sustainable interventionist solution to the rising levels of unemployment.

The National Youth Employment and Skills acquisition program was introduced by the Government to promote self-employment. There are different kinds of skills that can be acquired in the program, some of which are hair dressing, computer and coding, Makeup and head-gear tying, fashion designing and tailoring, catering, mechanical and electrical repairing of gadgets, furniture making and woodwork, wielding and fabrication, home management (Tie and Dye) and so much more. Skill acquisition is a means which is known greatly to promote economic growth and development, reduction of poverty, insurgency and crime rate, provide more entrepreneurial jobs, give experience and skills and increase the standard of living of its participants.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigerian is a blessed nation with good natural resources that can be used to build more infrastructure, encourage international trade, provide jobs, and a good educational system. However due to factors such as corruption and poor leadership, the high level of unemployment has increased over the past years. The increased high level of unemployment among youths is alarming as it paves way for bad vices like increase in crime rate, poverty, and mental health problems. One thing God hates is idleness, the bible says that “An idle man is the devils workshop” (The Living Bible, 1971).

The problem this research intends to research on is to find out if skill acquisition has indeed been efficient and effective in being helpful to final year students (400-500level) in Babcock university by equipping them with skills for future use thereby making them self-reliant, independent, boosting their entrepreneurial skills, reducing unemployment rate in Nigeria through entrepreneurship training, and thereby increasing their standard of living.

1.3 Objectives of the Study:

The primary objective of this study is to find out if skill acquisition has indeed been efficient and effective in equipping final year students of Babcock University with necessary skills for future use thereby making them self-reliant, independent, boosting their entrepreneurial skills, reducing unemployment rate through entrepreneurship training and increasing in their standard of living.

The Secondary objectives of this study is to:

  1. Explain the concept of skill acquisition, entrepreneurship?
  2. To evaluate the problems associated with skill acquisition?
  3. What are the threats or problems associated with unemployment in the Nigeria Economy?
  4. How has skill acquisition actually helped in reducing unemployment among graduates in Nigeria?

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions will provide guidance for this research work:

  1. To what extent has skill acquisition training been significant to the Nigerian economy in terms of reducing unemployment rate?
  2. To analyze how skill acquisition has actually increased graduates’ standard of living by skill training?
  3. What are the major challenges faced by its participants and those who set up the entrepreneurship training?
  4. What are the ways on how the government can provide incentives to skill acquisition training participants and encourage them?

1.5 Significance of the Study:

This research work will encourage the youths to participate more in acquiring a skill, be more independent, self-reliant (as they should not depend solely on their education and connections to grant them jobs but rather their skills and knowledge), self-made entrepreneurs, good and patriotic citizens, increase in their standard of living and ensure a decrease in crime rate. Also, analyzing the efficiency and effectiveness of this research work would enable me to be able to return my recommendations to the government and stakeholders establishing the program.

1.6 Scope of Study

This research paper focuses on skill acquisition, unemployment and standard of living in Nigeria. In other words, this research paper aims at analyzing the efficiency and effectiveness of skill acquisition training in reducing the high level of unemployment and increasing the standard of living of its participants. In this research paper, emphasis would be placed on the final year students (400-500 level) Babcock University, located in Ogun state. The time scope for this research paper to be studied is September 2019-March 2020.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms:

In order to address this case study, the following variables need to be defined as they will serve as a guide into understanding this research work. They are 1) Unemployment 2) Skill 3) Skill acquisition 4) Standard of Living.

1) Unemployment:

The Merriam Webster Dictionary (1828) defines unemployment as the state of being unemployed; the involuntary idleness of workers. It is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) as people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work. The measure of unemployment is the number of unemployed people divided by the number of people in the Labour force which are known as the sum of employed and unemployed (Chappelow, 2019).

2) Skill:

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (1828), a skill is defined as the ability to use ones knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance. The skills acquired by a graduate determines how employable they are in the labour force. However the skill that are gained by participants during skill acquisition are different from those who are seeking for jobs because they are entrepreneurial skills for most people who want to start a business, they are: Gele tying and Makeup, Photography, Catering, Tailoring and Fashion designing and so on.

3) Skill Acquisition:

Skill acquisition is a way that the government provided to take its citizens out of unemployment, reduce poverty and crime rate, and increase their standard of living. According to Development Education Centre (2019), skill acquisition is defined as the ability to be trained on a particular task or function and become an expert in it.

4) Standard of Living:

It is defined by Will Kenton (2019) as the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class or a certain geographic area. The standard of living includes factors such as income, gross domestic product (GDP), national economic growth, economic and political stability, political and religious freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. The standard of living is closely related to quality of life.

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