The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has warned that Nigeria’s rising unemployment rate needs to be tackled, as worse days are ahead if not properly contained. It also cautioned that under-investing in education is a major catalyst for unemployment.
This was disclosed by TUC President, Mr Quadri Olaleye, and Secretary General, Mr Musa-Lawal Ozigi, in a statement in Lagos.
According to the duo, Nigeria did not approve the UNESCO standard of 25% for the education sector, citing the under-funding of the sector which contributed to high unemployment.
“You do not need to be a prophet of doom to predict that worse days are ahead, if this government does not initiate and implement good economic policies that will bring about growth and create jobs
“Nigeria’s job crisis does not exist in a vacuum; it is caused by perennial under-funding of some critical sectors, especially the education sector which is grossly under-funded.
“The education sector is like a “power house” that supplies every other sector. Unfortunately, the government has never given 10 per cent of its annual budget even when UNESCO stipulates 26.5 percent,” they said.
The TUC also decried the falling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) levels in Nigeria and called for policies to attract investors.
“A report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) states that FDI inflow in Africa dropped by 28 per cent in the last six months which is about $16 billion, compared to $23 billion over the same period in 2019.
“However, the economies of Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, among others, appreciated in terms of investments, job creation, and so on.
“Nigeria is our business and we must make it work,” they added.
What you should know
Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 was 27.1%, indicating that about 21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians remained unemployed.
Nigeria’s unemployment and underemployment rate (28.6%) is a combined 55.7%.
- The total number of people (rural dwellers) in employment (i.e. people with jobs) during the reference period rose to 31.5% from 22.8%, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2% from 58,527,276.
- Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were under-employed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week). This figure is 15.8% less than the people in employment in Q3, 2020.