by Alexander O. Onukwue
New data from the Bureau of Statistics continue to show a high level of unemployment and underemployment in the rural areas of the country compared to the urban areas. In the absence of traditional white-collar opportunities in the rural areas, most persons resort to independent means of subsistence, ranging from agriculture, crafts and temporary engagements at construction sites.
That is not sustainable, and with continuous migration from the rural areas, there may be mouths to feed, and so decline in demand for agric products made in small quantities for sale within communities, and less houses to be built with the continued preference by property owners to invest in the city.
What then could the options of fixing rural unemployment be?
Improvements in the education offered to rural dwellers would enable them get the required set of skills to develop more commercially viable means of income and sustenance. That should require Government action to target development in local Governments through quality and affordable education, with the right teachers and curriculum that can be compared to that obtainable in rural areas.
Provisions of tech infrastructure would also be crucial as modern education benefits much from technology and the ability to be connected to other parts of the world through the internet. It may not be far-reaching to predict that unemployment and underemployment would be considerably lower in communities were the youth have access to the internet and at affordable rates.