Nigeria still faces vast unemployment - CNBC Africa

Nigeria still faces vast unemployment

Western Africa

by Dara Rhodes 0

About 54 per cent of Nigerian youth are unemployed. PHOTO: Getty images

The agency which had only 4,556 vacancies saw a total of 520,000 applicants turn up for the exercise, further highlighting the country’s unemployment plague. This led many experts to conclude that the efforts by the government to bring down youth unemployment are insufficient.

“We’ve thought about it and we’ve heard about it but that unfortunate incident brought it to the fore, for every single person to realise that it’s a major issue that needs to be addressed,” Olujimi Tewe, CEO Inspiro Consulting told CNBC Africa.

Nigeria is expected to grow at 7 per cent this year and is the second largest economy on the continent but despite the fact that the economy is evolving rapidly, youth unemployment remains a huge source of concern.

“I’ve had the opportunity to speak to people that were actually there and you could see that people who were really desperate and want change, saw an opportunity. The numbers tell us that something needs to be done urgently,” he said.

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The government has made some efforts to curb the youth unemployment in the country with initiatives such as the YouWin programme which is aimed at creating 40,000 -50,000 jobs.

However some argue that the government should focus less on creating the jobs and more on creating an enabling environment to allow the private sector to create the jobs.

“Unemployment will most likely come from the fact that there are not as many opportunities for work as there are people. Contrary to that, there are a lot of people with different schools of thoughts about it and many believe that the graduates that we have today have not been empowered and supported appropriately for the opportunities that are around,” he explained.

According to Oxford Business Group, 54 per cent of Nigerian youth are unemployed and urban unemployment in the country stood at 29.5 per cent in 2013 according to the National Bureau of Statistics. 

“A lot of people want to get jobs but the kind of jobs that are being offered and the pay that comes with the jobs is discouraging. It’s not enough to live on and we have labour laws but there is a difference between labour laws and labour enforcement so there’s a lot of abuse,” he added. 

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