On Nigeria’s Dire Unemployment Burden By Reuben Hopo

According to a 2017 Q3 report of the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria recorded its highest ever aggregate unemployment rate rising from 14.2% in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 18.8%. The monumental increase occurred despite the fact that all tiers of governments as well as the Organized Private Sector, OPD, generated additional 1.2 million jobs, which thus put the estimated labour population at 85. 1% for the same period.

The indices also revealed that the number of people within the labour force that were unemployed or underemployed increased drastically from 13.6 million and 17.7 million in the second quarter to 18.8 million in the third quarter. Analysis of these figures shows that the number of women within the labour force (aged 15-64) who were willing, able and actively seeking for job but unemployed was 21.2% while that of men was 16.5%. Thus, the total number of unemployed and underemployed put together increased from 37.2% in the previous quarter to 40% in the third quarter.

Also, the youth unemployment rate under the third quarter increased to 33.10% and represents the highest ever in the Country. A contra-distinction of youth unemployment across a few countries between the third and fourth quarters of 2017 to February 2018 for instance revealed that, Spain has the highest number of unemployment with 35.50% followed by Nigeria with 33.10%, and in descending order with Italy having 32.80%; France with 21.60%; Turkey with 19.20%; Euro Area with 17.7%; Australia with 13.30%; India with 12.90%; United Kingdom with 12%; Canada with 11.10%; South Korea with 9.60%; United State with 9%; Netherland with 7.20%; Germany with 6.20% and Japan is 4.20%

It could be reasonably affirmed that one of the scenarios that plunged the country into recession in the second quarter of 2016 was its lingering unemployment situation. Now that the country has exited the economic conundrum, Government at all levels need to pay dire attention to mass employment generation to be able to rejuvenate a sound and virile economy that is buoyant, able to make living affordable for her over population and most importantly cushion the inflammatory inflation on the citizenry.

It is in this direction that Lagos State has been consistent and emphatic through the building of strong institutions that encourage job creation. The Lagos State government has clearly reached another milestone by institutionalizing a framework for mass employment in the State with the establishment of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. The agency till date has succeeded in helping Lagos residents in establishing over 6000 micro-small and medium enterprises with a total loan grant of almost N5 billion to beneficiaries, who are mostly artisans, entrepreneurs and traders. Taking a cue from this proactive effort, there is higher possibility that when other stakeholders provide maximum opportunities for more Nigerians to have access to gainful employment, it will inevitably result in stronger economic growth and enhanced revenue for governments.

In the same vein, the creation of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment by the Lagos State government in tackling the employability of many jobless compatriots has been laudable for achieving positive results. The Ministry since its creation has accelerated synergies with the private sector in training and retraining artisans to upscale their skills, so that they would be more accessible to the global market. Graduate Internship Programme by the Ministry has also fetched quality of life to many graduates who applied to gain the needed work skills and ethics required by the private sector. Most of them have been offered gainful employment while others now have the skills to operate as entrepreneurs.

The huge investments in road infrastructure in the State are also genuine commitments towards provision of jobs for thousands of people in related fields. The Government’s ‘‘Ready, Set, Work’’ initiative has also led to the inculcation of entrepreneurial spirit among school levers. The State Government’s several tourism and sporting initiatives have equally opened up new frontiers of business opportunities to a lot of people with special skills and talents for self employment.

Also, the State Government’s investments in agriculture have greatly enhanced job creation as well as food security in the State.

In the same light, equipping critical agencies with high propensity for employment such as the Lagos State printing Corporation, which was equipped in 2017 with hi-tech digital machines, has sustained a sizeable number of workforce among whom are specialists and other categories of workers who earned their living because of Government’s strategic intervention in investing in state-of-the-art equipment that now gives the corporation, a genuine corporate image above other peers in the industry. The printing corporation being a training partner to the National Directorate of Employment since 1987, is now better equipped to offer trainees quality skills and experience with new global best technology that enrich their marketability for job prospects. The same advantage is also enjoyed by students from the State’s technical colleges on industrial attachments.

The International Labour Organisation in its recent report has shown that Africa would face a rise in its unemployment situations in the current year due to scarcity of decent work. In Nigeria, with steady rise in over population, all tiers of governments should exigently strengthen diversification to reap economy growth and employability advantage for millions of Nigerians that are out of job. Provision of mass employment is the only recipe for Government to enhance national cohesion and sense of belonging for all Nigerians.

On a final note, to forestall looming disaster in the country, governments at all levels need to ingeniously devise programmes that would incorporate the youths into the center stage of nation building process in the country. For this to be effectual, the course of action must commence with a fundamental revamping of the education sector. We need to alter the curriculum of our tertiary institutions to do away with courses that no longer fit into present day’s socio-economic reality.

Indeed, we need to lay more emphasis on technical education as well courses that de-emphasise the craze for non-existing white collar jobs. Similarly, we should make effort to promote social entrepreneurship among the youths. This could be done through the establishment of internship programmes aimed at giving youths the opportunity to learn valuable skills in contemporary fields such as information communication technology, fund development, public relations, program development, management and much more. Equally, corporate organisations, NGO’s, individuals and government institutions should be committed to mentoring of the youths.

Namibia Faces Serious Challenges With Youth Unemployment

Nigeria is not the only country struggling with the challenge of unemployment amongst youths as the Permanent secretary of Youth Ministry in Namibia, Emma Kantema-Gaomas has revealed that  insufficient resources and poor infrastructure are some of the challenges facing Namibia in alleviating youth unemployment.

Although Gaomas said the ministry had put in place strategic plans to combat the scourge of unemployment, using sport development over regional levels across the country as one method she added that youth empowerment is another strategic plan the ministry would deploy to tackle unemployment, which currently stands at 34 per cent among youth.

Kantema-Gaomas said an increase in government funding and providing equipment for the country’s youth training centrrs will also help combat youth unemployment.

However, she cited a lack of investment in sport and limited sport subjects in school curricula as some of the challenges the ministry and country as a whole faced.

Four Million Nigerians Became Jobless In 2017

Between January and September this year, a total number of 4.07 million Nigerians became unemployed, an analysis of the unemployment report for the third quarter released by the National Bureau of Statistics has revealed.

The bureau in the report, made available to our correspondent on Friday, stated that the number of Nigerians that became unemployed rose from 11.92 million in the first quarter of this year to 13.58 million and 15.99 million in the second and third quarters respectively.

It said between the second quarter and third quarter, the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million to 111.1 million.

The NBS report said the increasing unemployment and underemployment rates imply that although Nigeria’s economy is officially out of recession, domestic labor market is still fragile and economic growths in the past two quarters in 2017 have not been strong enough to provide employment in Nigeria’s domestic labor market.

It reads in part, “The labor force population increased from 83.9 million in Q2 2017 to 85.1 million in Q3 2017. The total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) declined from 52.7 million in Q2 2017 to 51.1 million in Q3 2017.

“The unemployment rate increased from 14.2 per cent in Q4 2016 to 16.2 per cent in Q2 2017 and 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017.

“The number of people within the labor force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.

“Total unemployment and underemployment combined increased from 37.2 per cent in the previous quarter to 40 per cent in Q3 2017.”

It said during the third quarter of this year, 21.2 per cent of women within the labor force that were between the ages of 15 years and 64 years and willing, able, and actively seeking work were unemployed, compared with 16.5 per cent of men within the same period.

The NBS noted in the report that in the third quarter of this year,16.4 per cent of rural and 23.4 per cent of urban dwellers within the labor force were unemployed. It added that the rate of unemployment is increasing at a slightly faster rate for urban dwellers than it was for their rural counterparts.

‘Our Empowerment Programmes Enough To Eradicate Unemployment’ – Osun Govt

In line with its strategy to boost the economy of the state and eliminate poverty, the Government of Osun has once again called on able-bodied youths in the state to engage in productive activities, rather than be idle.

This directive was contained in a brief issued at the end of the Council of State meeting on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Sola Fasure, said government has put in place several empowerment programmes in agriculture such as food cropping, chicken rearing and piggery, among others, for anyone to latch on to and be gainfully employed.

The State Government lamented that despite its efforts to create numerous platforms for productive engagement, these opportunities are yet to be fully taken advantage of by the youths, some of whom have remained dependent on their parents while others have resorted to begging.

The statement noted that with the current empowerment programmes initiated by government, no youth should be unemployed unless he or she proves to be unemployable.

“Many of these opportunities are underutilised. Council therefore urged young people, especially the unemployed, to be engaged in any of these.

“No able bodied person in the state should have any reason to be unemployed or engage in begging,” the statement said.

In a similar vein, the Council frowned at a report, which observed the poor and unhygienic look of pupils in the state’s public schools.

The report noted that many of these pupils wear ill-fitting, old and dirty uniforms to school, a condition the Council said was unacceptable.

Government however, placed the poor dressing and haggard appearances of the pupils at the door steps of their parents, who just abandon the children to their fate.

The Council said: “School pupils are expected to wear neat, fitting and smart uniforms. This is failure on the part of the parents first.

“Council enjoins parents to buy new uniforms for their children and ensure that they leave for school in the best physical shape in a way that inspires confidence in them and equally buoys their self confidence.

“Teachers are also required to take responsibility for the physical look of their wards.”

The state’s Executive Council also directed that the Community Based Management Committees of public schools be visited so as to evaluate their effectiveness and take appropriate actions based on the outcome of this evaluation.

Meanwhile, Council also deliberated on a proposed bill entitled: ‘State of Osun Independent Electoral Commission Bill, 2017,’ a document containing 86 chapters that cut across various issues relating to the conduct of local government elections in the state.

Council approved the document and directed that it be presented to the State House of Assembly as Executive Bill to be passed into law.

Council did not omit to commend the National Executive Council (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the directive that 33 per cent of elective offices be reserved for women,
It described the policy as an affirmative action that will bring inclusiveness and empower women in the state politically.

Almost 2 Million Nigerians Became Unemployed in Nine Months —NBS

The harsh economic situation in the country has thrown about 1.7 million Nigerians into the job market in nine months, a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed. The rate is highest for those between the ages of 15-24 (now 25%) and 25-34, and higher for women than men.

The report, which covered January to September 2016 showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 9.48 million at the beginning of the year to 11.19 million by September ending.

According to data contained in the report, employment rose marginally from 69 million at the beginning of the year to 69.47 million by September ending, the labour force population rose by 2.18 million from 78.48 million to 80.66 million.

For the 25 to 34 age group, the unemployment rate, according to the NBS report, increased from 12.9 per cent at the beginning of the year to 15 per cent as of the end of September.

The report also revealed that while 15.9 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed as of the third quarter ending this year, a further 22.9 per cent of women in the labour force were underemployed during the period.

On the other hand, the report said 12 per cent of males were unemployed in the third quarter of 2016, while 16.7 per cent of males in the labour force were underemployed during the same period.

“Given that the nature of rural jobs is largely menial and unskilled, such as in agriculture and the likes, unemployment is more of a concern in urban areas where more skilled labour is required.

“The unemployment rate in the urban areas was 18.3 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent in the rural areas, as the preference is more for formal white collar jobs, which are located mostly in urban centres,” the report said.

Meanwhile, financial experts have warned that the huge preference for imported items by many Nigerians, if left unchecked, could worsen the unemployment situation.

The Acting Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Woritka Gotring, said the problem could be better managed with the patronage of made in Nigerian products.

He said the resilience of the informal sector was what had been reducing the impact of the economic crisis on Nigerians.

Gotring said if not for the resilience shown by the informal sector where a lot of people were engaged in various economic activities, it would have been very difficult to manage the economic crisis.

He said despite the fact that a lot of people in the informal sector were employed in one form of economic activity or the other, the infrastructure gap in the country was limiting the potential of the sector.

In order to enable the country to conserve its foreign exchange, he called for policy consistency that would encourage capital flows and promote local production, fiscal discipline, enhancement of local manufacturing capacity and import substitution.

Gotring said, “Foreign exchange rate is one of the most important means through which a country’s relative level of economic health is determined.

“The slump in global oil prices has hit Nigeria hard plunging the country into recession. It is evident that the economy is going through tough times with a decline in inflows and continuous demand pressure on foreign exchange arising from high import bill.”

Several experts have called for an aggressive diversification of the economy, especially to agriculture in order to reverse the unemployment situation in the country.

3 Unemployed Graduates In One Family Get Federal Jobs Without Godfather

A certain user on Nairaland – Nigeria’s biggest online forum, with the username, Nellybii, has revealed how three members of his family got federal jobs withour reference from any highly placed member of the society.

Read his post on Nairaland below:

I and my wife are nairalanders since 2013, I have a testimony to give. Like numerous other Nigerian families, we have unemployed graduates in my family.

Two weeks ago, my wife and younger brother who both have been unemployed for 6 years got selected in the N-POWER scheme.

The real shocker was yesterday. My wife was on nairaland as usual she pointed out that the police cadet result was out.

My younger brother that did the interview just decided to check the list reluctantly because we thought it was impossible to be selected a police cadet officer in Nigeria without bringing notes from the governor or senator.

To our surprise his name was there!!! He read Elect Engineering and has been unemployed for 7 years.

We shouted and jumped up and down, made so much noise that I lost my voice.

Neighbors had to come to see why we made so much noise.

Now I have seen Real CHANGE in my family.

Three federal jobs in two weeks without knowing anybody in Abuja. Just by browsing the net and applying online.

Truly there is new hope and beginning for Nigeria. I pray that others looking for jobs will find favor too soon.

God bless PMB.
God bless Nigeria

Culled from http://www.nairaland.com/3505585/3-unemployed-graduates-one-family

Nigeria’s Booming Population Requires More and Better Jobs

With over 170 million people and a high rate of population growth, Nigeria needs to create 40 to 50 million additional jobs between 2010 and 2030. To reduce poverty and promote more inclusive growth, these jobs need to be more productive and provide higher incomes than the country’s jobs today. Three new World Bank reports focus on this challenging agenda.

The report “More, and More Productive, Jobs for Nigeria” provides a detailed overview of jobs, workers, and employment opportunities, while “Understanding and DrivingPrivate Sector Growth in Nigeria” studies constraints and drivers of firm-level growth and implications for employment.” The third report “Skills for Competitiveness and Employability” examines the demand in priority economic and job growth sectors and how to ensure that Nigerians have the right skills.

Understanding where people work, constraints to firm growth, and the skills needed is fundamental for formulating appropriate policies,” says Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. “The solid, detailed diagnostics in these reports are critical inputs to developing education and jobs strategies for Nigeria.”

The reports show that “two Nigerias” seem to be emerging: one in which high and diversified growth provides more job and income opportunities, and one in which workers are trapped in traditional subsistence activities. The reports also show a geographic divide, with northern Nigeria having low levels of education access and high youth underemployment than the South. Although skills required in Nigeria remain mostly manual, the South is experiencing more demand for the cognitive skills required by the new knowledge economy.

According to the studies, the majority of adult Nigerians are employed but locked into low-productivity and low-income work, with no job or income security. The studies find that half of working Nigerians are in small-holder farming and another 30 percent working as self-employed in small or micro household enterprises in the non-agricultural sector. Their work is not enough to escape poverty, or attain middle class status for their households.

The reports call for attention to key areas for the country’s education, competitiveness, and jobs agenda. Among the solutions they offer:

First, a transition into more productive employment requires more skills. Nigeria needs to improve basic skills levels. Some 30 percent of youth have not completed more than primary education. Beyond basic skills, better policies and programs would improve access and market relevance of technical vocational education and training. Better job market information and facilitation would strengthen job accreditation and certification and expand opportunities for school-to-work transition. At the same time, informal short programs could help existing workers upgrade skills and become more employable.

Second, the private sector generates employment but firm growth is too small to absorb a large number of Nigerians. About 4 million microenterprises are capable of generating wage jobs, indicating that the informal sector should not be overlooked in development strategies. The formal sector appears to have an even greater potential to grow and generate employment but is limited by low productivity especially in northern Nigeria. The biggest gains to productivity would come from reducing crime, improving access to credit, reducing losses due to power outages, and increasing use of the Internet.

Third, a focus on agriculture is critical, as it will remain the largest employer for the foreseeable future. But there is a disconnect. Agriculture contributed 22 percent to GDP in 2012, but employed half of the working population. Raising agricultural productivity – incorporating small farmers in value chains, increasing access to markets, inputs, and technology would both help raise income opportunities for small holder farmers and simultaneously tap into the significant potential for domestic agriculture and agribusinesses in Nigeria.

Fourth, the reports advocate programs that reduce income volatility over the short term. Safety nets are needed to prevent people from falling into poverty and to protect economic development over the longer term. A coherent framework and institutional set-up for social safety nets is needed.

Finally, efforts to identify appropriate employment policies must be based on reliable data and rigorous analysis. Insufficient and poor quality data is still a constraint in monitoring jobs in Africa’s most populous country.

Osun’s Strategy Against Unemployment

By Ayo Akinola and Bola Akande

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that no fewer than 5.3 million youths are jobless, while 1.8 million graduates enter the labour market every year. This figure could be a conservative estimate of the actual number of unemployed youths in the country, going by previous statistics released by NBS, which put the number of jobless Nigerians at 20.3 million.

The above is a reflection of previous governments’ inability to design policies that will create more jobs, or provide enabling environment that could encourage both individuals and the private sector to expand employment opportunities without let or hindrance.

It is in line with the above that the Osun State Government established an office known as Osun Job Centre. This is in pursuance of a key component of Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola-led administration’s Six Point Integral Action Plan which is banishment of unemployment from the state. The Job Centre is established as a State Government-funded one-stop employment agency with desk offices located at each of the 30 local government areas.

The Centre will act as a facilitator between job seekers and employers by providing employment information and services to a wide range of people, from the unemployed looking for employment, the underemployed looking for better jobs, to employers advertising job openings. It is aimed at eradicating barriers to employment by promoting education, training and business enterprise. It will contribute to the personal development of the labour force through the creation of opportunities for their productive engagement and utilisation.

The centre provides employment service tools such as an infrastructure for the business community to post its skills needs as well as in-house computers with free access to the internet.

To provide a venue where job seekers can meet and network with representatives of prospective employers from diverse sectors of the economic with the possibility of securing employment.

However, the private sector also has a role to play in creating employment, as experience has shown that government alone cannot provide all the needed jobs.  Unemployed persons will also have to start working towards self-employment, through which they may even provide jobs for others.

Unemployment and poverty have become serious problems that all levels of government must tackle with sincerity of purpose to keep the nation’s youths productively engaged and out of avoidable trouble.

These efforts by Osun government are worthy of emulation by other states of the federation. Governor Aregbesola once declared that Osun, out of the 36 states, has the lowest rate of unemployed people, particularly among her teeming youths, due to the determination of his administration to banish poverty and unemployment among its people.

This new move at establishing a job centre is just one of them. These efforts were recently corroborated by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, when he declared that Osun is one of the states with lowest in poverty.

“The indication (in Osun) is that because there is a lot of investment on the people, poverty has been reduced and that is what we (the Federal Government) are trying to achieve in Nigeria,” Osinbajo said.

Aregbesola was quoted as saying: “The development of micro and small businesses forms a core component of our poverty alleviation and economic empowerment strategy.

“This is part of our six-point integral action plan that, among others, seeks to banish poverty, unemployment and hunger.

“We have designed programmes aimed at unlocking our people’s creativity and genuinely set them on the path of self-employment and self-reliance.

“I am certain that our people are hard-working and would at all time take pride in working to earn a decent living.

“With the numerous programmes we are implementing, we are on the road to change the fortune of our state and lives of our people for better.

“Many of these programmes such as OYES, O’REAP, O’YESTECH, O’MEALs, O’Schools, O’Beef and O’BOPS, among others, have offered many of our youths self-reliant job opportunities.”

  • Ayo Akinola, is a publisher and media consultant based in Lagos and Bola Akande is a former commissioner for Human Resources and Capacity Building, Osun State

45% Of Nigerian Graduates Unemployed

Nigeria needs to ramp up training and job creation schemes for university graduates, a leading recruitment agency said on Monday, after a survey indicated nearly half of those with a higher education qualification were unemployed.

A total of 41,032 (45.72 per cent) of the 89,755 people who responded to the survey on jobberman.com said they were unemployed graduates, the Lagos-based firm said in an emailed statement.

The results demonstrated the “need for urgent actions on both public and private sector operators”, calling the number of unemployed graduates “cause for worry”, it added.

“Using this survey as a representative sample for the entire employment age population, it is clear that more work needs to be done to put more people in jobs.”

It added: “In addition, as employers continue to complain about a dearth of skills among graduates, a massive skill acquisition programme should be put in place for graduates and more industries put in place to assimilate them.”

Nigeria — Africa’s most populous nation with more than 170 million people — is also the continent’s leading economy and number one oil producer.

But the economy has been hit hard by the global fall in oil prices since mid-2014, weakening the naira currency, while foreign exchange controls have hit investment.

Unemployment has long been a concern, with official rates currently at 9.9 percent.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is trying to kick start the economy, on Monday said poverty, injustice and unemployment were the main causes of conflict in the country.

All three have been seen as a recruitment tool for Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency in the northeast.