Acute Skills Deficiency Syndrome “And Employment Creation in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case Of Cross River State, Nigeria (Published)
Since 1999, successive Governments of Cross River State (CRS), Nigeria have successfully transformed the State to a preferred destination for business and leisure. But notwithstanding the impressive macroeconomic performance, youth inactivity has remained very high, and it is believed that Crossriverians suffer from acute skills deficiency syndrome (ASDS), which is not having the required skills to secure good jobs or start and run viable businesses. The paper notes that occupational structure in the new economy is increasingly bipolar, characterized by the juxtaposition of two main groups of workers: high skilled professionals on the one hand; and low skilled workers on the other hand. If more Crossriverians belong to the second group of employees, it is a possibility that they do suffer from ASDS. Using secondary data collected from CRS, the paper confirms among other things that 65.7 percent of employees of CRS origin were employed in low skill services areas, and fewer Crossriverians were employed in dynamic sectors/activities like manufacturing, mining, and electricity. The paper notes that dealing with ASDS in Nigeria and elsewhere calls for implementation of a comprehensive social reorientation programme that aims at inculcating the entrepreneurial mindset among youths particularly, and given the powerful impact the media, career counselling programmes should be streamed on the radio, television, and the Internet in a manner that will capture the attention and interest of young people.
Keywords: ASDS, Educational Institutions, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Knowledge Economy, business startups, technical and vocational skills