The concept of unemployment in Nigeria should be void because of the simple yet affirming law of “demand and supply”. With problems require solution- Solutions which require radical thinking, innovative strategies and perhaps the most important of all, the man power to implement these solutions. The combination of these three forces have proven to change circumstances in business and economy.
An illustration of this fact could be seen during the great depression in the early 30’s- in the midst of economic recessions and poverty plaguing practically the entire world, a company known as “Ford Motors” experienced its largest popularity and financial growth and became the largest car manufacture in the world. Today, it remains one of the largest companies in the world with an estimated value of $63.6bn (as of 2015). How did it achieve such feat in a times of economic downturn?... it was through creating employment
As paradoxical as it sounds, it is true- Ford achieved its greatest success by manufacturing affordable cars, diversifying its car designs and primary purpose, and most of all by hiring more labor force to build his vision.
It was this core business philosophy that soared the company to its heights- by hiring more staff, it was able to increase production of its vehicles, drive down its costs and cater to the growing demand for mobility and function. The company was able to hire more staff by slashing the pay and working hours of its current staff to accommodate and distribute the pay among the newly hired staff- This was Henry Ford’s radical and innovative solution to a problem that many deemed hopeless.
In an article written at the peak of the company’s success, he was quoted saying.
“The secret to our success is effective production- maximum utilization of our resources. We needed man power to explore our opportunities and we had it in abundance”- Henry Ford
Effective production- This is what our Nigerian service industry is lacking and I will illustrate this by sharing my personal experience with a Nigerian bank.
I went on its website, looking to speak with a customer service attendant (it operates live chat sessions with its customers) only for me to get the message below for three hours.
In a nation that has 80% youth unemployment, why do i have to “please hold for an operator”?. The delay is certainly not caused by a scarcity of labor force- By implementing the same strategy Ford used, effectiveness in customer service will be achieved- quicker and better response to its customer (such as myself), reliability and trust. What most businesses don’t understand in this economy is that effectiveness is key. With a population of 170 million, there is a very high demand for fast and reliable service and production. And with 80% youth unemployment in the nation we have the man power to cater to these demands.
Most will considered this solution to be radical and unheard of- Some might even go as far as saying “it's impossible”. To those I say this- “impossible is nothing”. Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you will be doing the impossible
I will end my argument with a man who also founded a company that grew exponentially based on the philosophy of effective production in a time where labour was cheap, and made him the richest man in American history- John .D. Rockefeller- a.k.a The King of Oil
He founded a company called Standard Chartered Oil and he put this philosophy in effect in the production of the bi-products of crude (petrol, kerosene etc) by commissioning more refineries across the nation and hiring immense labour force to work and manage them. At its peak Standard Chartered Oil was refining 90% of oil in the US, making Rockefeller worth over $340bn (adjusted for inflation)- 5 times the current richest man in the world- Bill Gates.