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Nigeria needs to create 40 to 50 million jobs

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Staff writer ▼ | March 17, 2016
Nigeria street
Africa   Skills for Competitiveness and Employability

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 Driving Private 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.


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