States’ unemployment data shows that 20.9 million Nigerians are unemployed as at third quarter of 2018. This is revealed in a report released today by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the NBS report, Akwa Ibom reported the highest unemployment rate of 37.7% in Q3 of 2018. Unemployment rates also surged in other South South oil-producing states, despite the rise in monthly allocation to all tiers of governments.
Here are some Highlights
- Lagos State recorded the highest gains in full employment by adding 740,146 jobs
- Akwa Ibom state reported the highest unemployment rate of 37.7%
- Rivers State tops States with the highest unemployed population with 36.4%
- Lagos state reported the lowest rate of unemployment at 14.6%
- Six (6) States such as Lagos, Rivers, Imo, Ondo, Enugu and Kaduna State all recorded the highest gains in net full-time employment.
- Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa state, Abia and Borno state all-state reported the highest unemployment rates in the quarter
- Also, Katsina recorded the highest underemployment rate alongside Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna, and Yobe.
Unemployment was highest in the South-South Zone
There’re 5.38 unemployment people in the region– The NBS report shows that the South-South regional zone has a total of 16.7 million (second-largest) labour force in the country. It also has the highest unemployment rate of 32 percent in the quarter. This represents about 5.38m unemployed people in the region.
Further breakdown of the report shows that Akwa Ibom State recorded the highest unemployment rate of 37.7%, followed by Rivers State with 36.4%.
It should be noted that the labor force population of Akwa Ibom state increased by 300,163 in the last one year of the review period, while underemployed people also increased by 154,692 persons.
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South West recorded the lowest Unemployment rate
The South West region of Nigeria has only five states which include Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo. The NBS report shows that this region recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 14 percent.
Yet, Ogun and Lagos States are on opposite ends– Despite generally low unemployment rate in the South West, Ogun State’s unemployment rate still rose by 6.8 percentage. This is a sharp contrast when compared with neighbouring Lagos state which recorded the biggest decline in its unemployment rate; down by 3.7 percentage points.
Note that Lagos State had the highest labor force population of 7,47m person during the period need review, even as EKiti State had the lowest labor force population of 1,77m persons in the zone.
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North West Zone recorded the highest underemployment rate in Nigeria
4.32 million persons are unemployed in the region– The Bureau’s report shows that North West Zone recorded the highest underemployment rate of 27 percent for the quarter under review. Note that the North West region has a total of 15.9 million labour force, out of which 4.32 million persons are underemployed.
Why is this so? – According to the NBS:
“States with higher focus on seasonal agriculture tend to have higher rates of underemployment compared to unemployment.”
Why it matters – Oil rich zones have the highest unemployment rates
From the analysis of the NBS report, the South-South States recorded the worst unemployment rate of 32 percent.
What are these states doing with their huge federal allocations? – As you may well know, the South-South States include: Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, and Edo. Most of them are oil-producing states, all of whom receive quite a lot of revenue from the federation each month. According to the latest monthly allocation statistics data, four out of the six South-South States shared whooping N64.04bn. This represents 28.9% of the entire monthly allocation distributed by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for March 2019.
Akwa Ibom, for instance, received the second highest revenue allocation of N16.3bn from the Federal Government in just March 2019. It has repeatedly received fat allocations from the federation account, thanks to its status as an oil-producing state. Despite all that, it recorded the highest unemployment rate.
Any political will to end unemployment in the South South region? The important question, therefore, is – how do these states spend the billions of naira allocated to them on a monthly basis? Does Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel even have any concrete plans towards tackling the unemployment menace in his state?
With no intention to politicise this development, the truth remains that allocation figures for the oil-producing states simply do not reflect on their unemployment data. In other words, these states are doing very little it nothing to curb unemployment with the allocations given go them.
The unemployment numbers in South South states are as bad as they get. They also explain why criminal activities such as kidnapping and armed robbery are prevalent in these states.
Still for your consideration– These oil-rich states also access the 13 percent monthly derivation as oil-rich zones on a monthly basis. For March 2019, four South-South states of the nine oil-rich states shared whooping N42.8bn out of total N45.09 bn.
Why South West recorded the lowest Unemployment rate
The NBS unemployment statistics suggest that Lagos state and it’s South Western counterparts are doing something right which others grossly ignore. For instance, Lagos State added the highest labor force population of 7.4m as at the period under review.
To read the full unemployment report, download it here.