Railway Transport system: A notable solution to unemployment in Nigeria: by Peter Owinje.

     A reason why railway was established in Nigeria Rail transport is the movement of people and goods by using a wheeled transport vehicle, which is made to move on a railway track. In Nigeria during colonial era when railway transport was first established, the primary aim of its establishment was to evacuate agric produce in Nigeria. Since, railway transport has the capacity to carry goods in large quantity; its establishment was fully considered by then. However, nowadays I see more reasons why railway transport system must be established in most countries especially in Nigeria where there are huge number of unemployed youths. One of the reasons among others is that railway transport system can create direct and indirect jobs for thousands of people. I hope if unemployment problem can be solved or reduced to barest minimum it will give a better life to many Nigerians and it will help the nation’s economy.   Meaning of unemployment Unemployment is a common problem in the world today. It is a major social problem that is affecting many youths in different parts of the world most especially in Africa. Unemployment happens when a man who is ready and able to work is searching for an employment over a period of time and he’s unable to find or get employment. Better still, it is when someone of working age is seriously looking for a paid work for weeks or months or years. However, the national unemployment rate in many countries is determined by the percentage of unemployed people in the total labour force. Unemployment and its consequences When a man is unemployed his family suffers for lack of money and he will not be able to contribute meaningfully to the economy of a nation at large, when it comes to service and production of goods. More so, unemployed people lack purchasing power and this may also lead to unemployment for other people, when goods and services are not properly or well patronized by fairly large number of people due to unemployment, the producers and the providers of such goods and services may fold up. Furthermore, militancy and other crimes in Nigeria have been linked to high rate of unemployed youths in the country. Hence, the saying, an idle hand is the devil’s work shop. Therefore, high rate of unemployment is a great problem and high risk in any given country that must be addressed. Financial distress is one of the direct consequences of unemployment, when getting a new job takes a longer time or period job searching becomes more difficult for the job seekers and it may lead to financial worries and anger, these may also explain why some of unemployed youths are involved in undesirable crime in the society When you consider a lot of challenges job seekers have to face in Nigeria, most especially when they are being deceived and defrauded by employment agencies, then I hope you will agree with me that the high rate of unemployed youths in Nigeria needs more urgent attention better than before. I personally discovered that transport generally as it were is a great source of employment in any given nation. However, I will like to talk on just mode of transport that can provide thousands of direct jobs to unemployed youths. This mode of transport is railway transport system. It is a special mode of transport that must not be undermined because it has the capacity to provide hundred thousand of jobs if properly maintained. However, at this point, it is important to look at some railway transport companies and their staff strength by this you will agree that railway transport is capable to provide thousands of jobs to thousands of people. Early days of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) “According to Jetson Nwakwo, managing director of the NRC said the company had employed 45,000 people between 1954 and 1975, current employment is only 6,516.” If a single organization as at 1975, provided direct jobs for 45,000 people and the figure for indirect jobs were not inclusive or mentioned, you can now imagine the number of direct and indirect jobs such a single company is likely to provide by now, if it’s properly maintained. Kenya Government plans to tackle unemployment. Kenya Government is planning very hard to reduce the number of unemployed citizen in their country through a viable railway transport system. “The new proposed railway deal in Kenya is expected to create more than 30,000 new direct jobs for Kenyans, while it also has the potential to provide 13,000 indirect jobs through the local companies that are expected to supply local materials and the services needed for the venture.” Source: Daily Nation.  Indian Railway the 7th largest employer in the world It is interesting to know that in whole world, railway transport system is the7th largest employer of labour. The name of the railway company is India Railway. It has 1.334 million employees in 2014. Source: Wikipedia. When a single company employed over one million people, you can also imagine indirect jobs such company will also provide for people in its environment. Pakistan Railways: The Pakistan Railways also provides employment to large number of her citizens, the company employed 82,424 people between year 2010 and 2011. Source: Wikipedia. Russian Railways: The Russian Railways was established in 18th of September, 2003. However, as at 31st of December, 2011, the company employed 942, 808 people. Source: Wikipedia.  Other Railway Transport Companies and their Staff Strength The following companies are rail-manufacturing companies in the world and they also run a railway transport system, hence, it is important to look at the number of direct jobs they provided in each of the company for better understanding. Bombardier: It is a Canadian company that has 33,800 rail-related employees as at early year of 2010. You can also imagine what the figure will be by now. Railway transport is a major source of employment. Alstom: This is a company that has its headquarters in France, and in its transport division, it has 27,000 employees. Siemens: This is a German company that has 19,000 employees in its transport division. China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CSR): Is a China base company it has about 112,000 employees. China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock: It is also one of the rail manufacturing companies that have more than 100,000 employees. Source credited to: Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry by: Michael Renner and Gary Gardner. Without a nagging doubt, the existence of mode rail infrastructure in above given countries is a significant source of employments, that makes important contribution to improve quality of life of thousands of people, by providing jobs in thousands to unemployed youths and boosting the economy. Therefore, my earlier assertion that railway transport system is a notable solution to unemployment is not an over statement but, a stark truth.    

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