“Nigeria actually doesn’t have unemployment statistics you can rely on but in 2011 it was at about 22.9 per cent and presently youth unemployment is about 50 per cent in about 70 per cent of a youth population,” Ronke Kosoko, executive director, Employment Clinic told CNBC Africa on Wednesday.
“When you talk about curbing unemployment there are about 20 different things that the government needs to coordinate simultaneously in an economy. Educational problems, political problems, institutional and economic problems, as long as all those things are there you will continue to have the unemployment rate go up.”
According to trade and economics Nigeria’s unemployed population represents 23.9 per cent of its over 160 million populace.
While Nigeria has a number of programmes that have been introduced to help tackle the issue of unemployment, these programmes are not regularly checked for progress and a number become fruitless.
Adding to the unemployment problem is the huge relevant education gap in the country, where millions of children are educated with skills and knowledge that is not practical for their lifestyles and backgrounds.
“That’s why you have an economy that is growing but not developing because the people are not in tune with the development,” added Kosoko.
Government would need to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and invest in human capital development.
Nigeria’s economy has been in the hands its government for a number of years but Kosoko explains that there has been a recent shift in that power into the hands of the private sector.
“Government also needs to remove the bottlenecks and bureaucracies in its agencies, ministries and parastatals. The private sector in Nigeria is trying its best but all the bottlenecks need to be removed. It’s going to take a while.”
Nigeria’s agricultural sector has been in the spotlight this year as it is expected to employ the bulk of the country’s jobless percentage.
The sector however needs to be turned into a value chain, where relationships between farmers and supermarkets to move agricultural goods seamlessly.
This will significantly reduce Nigeria’s import dependence and allocate more funds to schooling.