Nigeria a small country in Africa, has the highest population of any African nation. After multiple military coups, the country now has an elected official in office. However, social issues such as growing unemployment still plague the nation. Growing industries and government aid, however, could help Nigerians find work. Here are five facts about unemployment in Nigeria.
5 Facts About Unemployment in Nigeria
- The rate of unemployment in Nigeria presents as confusingly high. Nigeria has the most robust economy in Africa. Yet in 2019 it reported an overall unemployment rate of 25%, with an additional 20% of its 186 million people being underemployed. The situation worsens for young Nigerians, as the unemployment rate for people between the ages of 15 and 35 hit 55.4% in 2019.
- Oil dependence exacerbates unemployment in Nigeria. To explain its unemployment crisis, Nigeria’s experts look to the prominence of oil as the country’s disproportionately dominant industry. The nation’s economy has neglected other potentially job-creating fields in order to feed oil. According to The World Bank, “The oil sector provides for 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 80% of its budgetary revenues.” Degree-holding Nigerians consequently have trouble finding positions in their field, and others lack access to “vocational training” that should otherwise allow them to find work in a number of industries.
- Growth in Nigeria’s real estate industry could help lower unemployment. Nigeria’s real estate industry needs attention; the deficit of homes in Nigeria currently sits at 17 million. The nation’s apparent neglect of real estate likely comes from a lack of investment on the government’s part and its people’s subsequent inability to afford a home. Fisayo Okare of Stears Business reports that “The ratio of mortgage loans to GDP is less than 1%, compared to 34% in South Africa.” An increase in real estate would create jobs in all fields related to the industry, such as carpenters and plumbers, and also help to lower the cost of living for an already struggling nation.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has increased unemployment. Recently, since the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, Nigerian companies have executed major salary cuts and layoffs of their employees. For instance, software company Andela and financial institution Ren Money are two of many more that laid off more than 500 people. This comes as a result of the detrimental effects of the pandemic on the global economy.
- Tech companies could save Nigeria’s youth. In spite of the numerous obstacles inhibiting employment in Nigeria, tech companies that operate in Nigeria continue to hire young professionals. Tek Experts, one such company that employs over 7,00 people worldwide, intends to increase its staff size. Since 2018, it has hired 1,300 Nigerians, and it aims to bring that number up to 2,000 by the end of 2020.
Unemployment in Nigeria is a growing concern that stems from the country’s many political and economic issues. Though very rich in natural resources like oil, this industry is actually causing more harm since the country has not diversified its economy. Therefore, if the country were to invest more in its real estate and tech companies. The unemployment rates could decrease and help solve the issue of unemployment in Nigeria.
– Will Sikich