Skills Acquisition, Panacea to Insecurity, Youth Unemployment in Nigeria

By ‘Deji Adesogan

Guthrie (1952) defines skills as the ability to bring about some end result with maximum certainty and minimum outlays of ‎energy or of time and energy. Such abilities can be only be made possible through practice, it is the process of developing such abilities through consistent practice that is referred to as skill acquisition.

In fact, skill acquisition is often a complementary knowledge but for some a source of livelihood. Common skills within the Nigerian environment include Fashion Designing, Farming, Catering, Soap Making, Shoe-Making, Welding, Painting, Blogging, Information Technology etc. The widening gap between the demand and supply of jobs in the labour market has made the acquisition of entrepreneur skills necessary in the 21st century especially in developing countries like Nigeria, the giant of Africa.

Joblessness is a serious threat to national security, It may lead to many of our teeming youths been eventually recruited into the rank of oil theft syndicates, armed robbers, kidnappers, militants and insurgents. The unemployed army of young people in poor urban neighborhoods is closely related to involvement in various forms of offenses, including expressive and acquisitive offenses, such as, vandalizing, petty crimes or more serious crimes such as, burglary and robbery.

To create balance between the growing needs for jobs and the availability of it. There is indeed a need for an intervention plan, so far, skill acquisition has proven to be a panacea for National Security and a sure guarantee for sustainable development particularly for youths as they constitute the larger force within the society that is at the receiving end of the drought in jobs all over Nigeria.

Though as we all know that Skill Acquisition is a capital intensive, there is urgent need for our governments (local, state and FG) to channel more resources into skill acquisition programmes so as to make loans readily available and easily accessible for many that are interested in developing and making livelihood through an acquired skill instead of depending on a “white collar” job that is not even available enough. The Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari must create more Technical and Vocational Schools because i believe firmly that they will serve as an effective medium in encouraging the acquisition of skills among our teeming jobless youths, and also to create more sustainable youth developmental policies, government must also consider give her youths Vocational and Technical education that can equally provide formal education for them.

It is often said that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop, Nigerian youths must on their own part seize every possible opportunity available to develop themselves in one skill or another because everyone can or should rely on prospects of western education whether in the arts, science or humanities. Skill acquisition could actually be a money spinning venture for future dream actualization. Nigerian Youths must learn to imbibe the virtue of patience and avoid being ruled by the “get quickly and anyhow” syndrome because there is dignity in labour.

Skill acquisition guarantees self empowerment which of course is a great mark of true freedom, they should not rely solely on certificates but acquired skills. White collar jobs are no longer what they used to be, so it is high time for each Nigerian youth to fold his/her sleeves and acquired skill(s) aside formal education since many degree holders feel been a graduate automatically gives them instant wealth without sweat or hard labour. Like what OB Afuye a close friend of mine said, most Nigerian graduates allow their degree certificates to override their decision making wether to venture into entrepreneurship, you hear things like how can a degree holder become a mere plumber, tailor, cobbler, barber, driver etc.

Lastly, the latest strategy of Government fighting unemployment with certificated skill acquisition is a welcome development but it can only yeid desired positive result(s) when all the tiers of Government (local, state, and FG) see this menace as a common enemy that must be forceful and jointly defeated without unnecessary delay.

‎’Deji Adesogan, a Security/Media Consultant, writes from Kaduna.

He Tweets via @DejiAdesogan and he can be reached via

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