Cry of Dependency

In a period a little over a year, 2015 to August 2016, Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), reports that 4.58 million Nigerians have lost their jobs. 

The report reads: 

“During the reference period, the number of unemployed in the labour force increased by 1,158,700 persons, resulting in an increase in the national unemployment rate to 13.3% in Q2 2016 from 12.1 in Q1 2016, 10.4% in Q4 2015 from 9.9% in Q3 2015 and from 8.2% in Q2 2015.” 

“In view of this, there were a total of 26.06 million persons in the Nigerian labour force in Q2 2016, that were either unemployed or underemployed compared to compared to 24.5 million in Q1 2016 and 22.6 million in Q4 2015.” 

“The number of underemployed in the labour force (those working but doing menial jobs not commensurate with their qualifications or those not engaged in full-time work and merely working for few hours) increased by 392,390 or 2.61%, resulting in an increase in the underemployment rate to 19.3 % (15.4million persons) in Q2 2016 from 19.1% (15,02 million persons) in Q1 2016, 18.7% (14.42 million persons) in Q4 2015, from 17.4% (13.2 million persons) in Q3 2015 and 18.3% (13.5 million persons) in Q2 2015.” 

A staggering figure! It becomes psych sapping, mind bugging, and emotionally numbing when you think of the rippling effect on the number of dependents on these once economically viable labor force. In a developing economy like Nigeria, let’s just keep it on an average that for each gainfully employed, there are 20 dependents. Multiplied by the number that has lost their job within the period, the actual figure will be 9.16 million. Some of you may want to place the average dependency beyond 20. What does statistics show with regards to the seeming rise in Nigeria’s working population and decline we now experience This cry of dependency may be far from over yet. If you want to play around with figures, start by noting Nigeria population growth Can you make out how many are not gainfully employed and then keep adding the numbers that will become unemployed and the rippling dependents if economic conditions does not get better. 

A child cries and the mother rushes to give attention. Dependency cries but disregarded and left to die. The first dependency to cry is the one who once have an income but no longer employed. The next dependency to cry are immediate family members who have been nurtured by an income but will now live on hope. Yet another dependency that will cry are relatives who have looked to succeed by an income but their dreams now shattered. Still another dependency that will cry are friends who due to no fault of theirs are jobless, hoping to etch a living from an income but are now disgruntled. 

Just as the cry of a child keeps a mother on the alert to the needs of her young, the cry of dependency should have kept “Mother Economy ” alert to the needs of its citizenry. “Mother Economy” has brought to birth only to give its young to be nurtured by another. “Mother Economy” has boiled its young in her milk. The cry of dependency does not invoke concern and care in “Mother Economy.” The young of “Mother Economy” slave under other affluent “Mother Economies” discriminated on and deprived.  

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