Category Archives: Government

Unemployment, the Nigerian People and the Government

The politician sleeps in a mansion. He rarely comes into contact with the citizens who voted him into power. He and some of his fellow colleagues in government do not live in the country they govern.  Then, they decide that they should pay unemployed youth 5000 Naira monthly ($25 or £16). Do they really know what unemployed people need?

The unemployed may have needs such as paying their children’s school fees if they are parents or medical bills if they are ill. I think the government needs to look at the needs of the unemployed and consult with them so it is not just the government making a decision from the top that may not have a positive impact on the people’s lives. I watched a BBC documentary recently where David Lammy, MP of Tottenham held regular drop-in sessions where his constituents could come in to discuss the issues they had. He would listen and act to solve some of their problems. There is a need for Nigerian politicians to learn from this. They need to speak to the ordinary citizens and not just sit in their air-conditioned offices and cars and decide what the rest of the people should have.

If Nigeria plans to pursue more democratic measures in their government, the people need to have a greater say in the government. It is not enough for citizens to vote for who they want to be in power every four years, they should be able to speak to their government. I know we can say that Nigeria is still better than some of their African counterparts, where they have had the same political leaders for over fifteen years. Yet, we can still do better.

Before the government decides to implement this payment programme for the unemployed, they need to consider what the people think first. If the government decides to go ahead with their 5000 Naira pay to the unemployed after consultation with the people, have they considered how they plan to administer this spending? In my opinion, Nigeria does not have the capacity to deliver this payment. Who will be counted as unemployed and how do we know people will not cheat the system?

Nigerian tax payers, would you like to see public money spent on this initiative? If you were to suggest what you would want the Nigerian government want to spend more resources on, what would it be and why?