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Unemployment in Nigeria and Solutions

Unemployment in Nigeria and causes

Unemployment in Nigeria and causes

What Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria


Unemployment is defined as the state of being without a paid job (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, Fifth Edition). Unemployment occurs when people are without work and actively seeking for a job (International Labour Organization). It is a global issue as developed, developing, undeveloped and underdeveloped nations of the world are experiencing it. As evidence that even developed nations of the world are “combating” with unemployment, in December 2013, an estimate of 6.7 percent Americans were unemployed.

In the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the country has a large number of her population badly treated by unemployment. The quest for good leadership in solving unemployment in the country has made almost all that are affected by the menace show their reactions in one way or the other. The most pitiable of it is that most youths of the country are crying day and night because of the "wicked unemployment" in the country.

In 2012, International Labour Organization, an organization that takes statistics of both the employed and unemployed in the world, stated that about 6% of the world population were unemploy and that the most unemployed are the youths. According to the same organization, about 73.4 million youths were unemployed in 2013. A news publication company, Vanguard online news, reported on May 19, 2014, that estimate of 60 million Nigerians is unemployed. World Bank Data in 2010 put poverty level among Nigerian citizens as 46% of the nation’s population, and this can be caused by unemployment in the country. Nigeria has a population of 168.8 million in 2012 (World Bank Data).

In this essay, many strategies are developed through which unemployment in Nigeria will be reduced. There are good things about Nigeria, and as a Nigerian, I put down the solutions through which unemployment in the country will be reduced. These solutions, when applied appropriately, will go further to reduce some challenges in Nigeria. When these unique and original ideas, are put into action, I firmly believe that the rate of unemployment in the country will be minimized. For years, unemployment has been growing like ‘grasses’ but with these strategies, the ‘grasses’ (unemployment), will face serious dry season which hence retards (hinders) the growth.

In the year 2016, the methodology through which unemployment is rated in the country changed. Notwithstanding the change, unemployment in the country was still high. In the year as well, the country experienced an economic recession. The rate of economic activities reduced, companies closed, and many workers lost their jobs.
Nigerian Bureau Statistics in July 2016 stated that 13.3% Nigerians were unemployed. Underemployment was 19.3% and youth unemployment/underemployment was 49.5% when the record was taken.


An illustration of Nigerian Unemployment

An illustration of Nigerian Unemployment

Solutions to High Unemployment Rate in Nigeria

What are the solutions to Nigeria unemployment?

Under this heading, discussed are the strategies or solutions which can be employed to reduce unemployment in the country. These strategies will skyrocket good lives in the country and in return reduce unemployment. The solutions to reduce unemployment in Nigeria are:

Agriculture as a Solution to Nigeria's Unemployment: Very Important

Agricultural Mechanization and Enhancement: The reason why many citizens of Nigeria run away from agriculture as if Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is after them is because an agricultural practice is stressful to them. Agricultural practices in the country are mostly manual, that is by the use of manpower. Many who even wanted to go into the practice grow cold minds when they discover that without machines there will be low agricultural output. The use of hoes and other crude equipment that have the metallic parts made through sand casting, investment casting or forging processes wastes time but agricultural mechanization makes farming easy and less stressful.

With the introduction of machines into agriculture, Nigerians will see agriculture as something interesting and start engaging in it. Advancing agriculture, like the new and improved system of farming and poultry, will propel many to pick such as means of employment for them. When they make the profit from the practice, they can enlarge and employ other persons to assist. The government should organize seminars where citizens will be taught on the new improved system of making living from agriculture.

In the year 2014, His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State empowered more than 100 citizens of the state on how to run modern agricultural practice. The training covered poultry and piggery. Many who participated have their own farms today.

Support Small and Medium Enterprises

The establishments made by private individuals contribute so much to the growth of manufacturing companies in Nigeria. When the Government provides more funds to support these SMEs, more employment will be made and unemployment reduced to some extent. The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can empower the youths who work in those companies. There are many types of youth empowerment that can be offered to the youth workers as they work in the establishments. With the skills acquired, the workers can establish their own company and employ others also. It is not only the youths that are empowered in the companies but also the adult workers.

According to Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Small and Medium Enterprises manufacture more than 90 percent of the products used in Nigeria. This shows that they play important role in the country. The Government should reduce the huge amount of charge on SMEs so that they can enlarge their coast. Those who are doing well in Small and Medium Enterprises should mentor others as mentoring is important.

Soft loan is still needed to promote already existing small businesses. Government of Nigeria should create avenue to support all these growing entrepreneurs in the country. When they set up banks that can give loan to businessmen and women at low interest rate, the businesses will grow. With time, the entrepreneurs will become employers of labour.

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Youth Empowerment as Solution to Nigeria's Unemployment

Youth Empowerment on Creativity and Self-Discovery

There are many creative people in Nigeria but the problem is that they do not know they are creative. When seminars are organized for the youths on what is built in them that they have not discovered, those inbuilt talents in them will “erupt”. The seminars are to be sponsored by either governments or citizens that are up-and-doing or even both. The creative attitude in many Nigerians can be developed through mentoring. People especially the youths should have mentors who will direct them in certain things about life.

Self-discovery can make citizens of Nigeria to get jobs by being self-employed. In this case, they are the managers of their own company. Self-employment is important but in some cases and it calls for self-discovery. Self-discovery in this context is about finding out what you can do apart from your area of specialization or what you studied as a profession. There are many comedians in Nigeria today who make much money and live good by making people laugh and feel happy. Also, there are many actors and actresses in the country who have made it and some are still making it notwithstanding that theater art was not what they studied in their different institutions.

Nkem Owoh is popular Nigerian actor who has made so much money irrespective of the fact that he did not study theater art as a profession. He studied Engineering at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria (sourced from Wikipedia). Also, Nkem Owoh studied Electrical Engineering in Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Nigeria. He is popularly referred to as Osuofia. He had a good self-discovery on his ability to act and that is how he found himself in the movie industry today. In 2008, Nkem Owoh won the African Movie Academy Award of the year for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He acquired important skill acquisition on acting and then used it as a source of income.

Retiring the Old

There are lots of people who are occupying positions in offices that are too old to be there. One of the things that cause unemployment in Nigeria is that the old men and women that are in offices who are not supposed to be there again are still occupying the positions that others are to take. When you look very well into the mouths of many, you will observe that many of them cannot even chew cooked fish not even to talk of ground meat. This is no tall story (not a joke) and cannot be treated with kids’ glove.

The retirement age of government and non-government workers should be reduced by the government so that graduates will have the positions where they will occupy. An active body should be set to investigate in different workplaces to fish-out the old who refuse to leave the positions for the younger to take charge. When the body work hard, more employment opportunities will be created for citizens of Nigeria.

Family Planning: In China for instance, due to the high increase in their population, a Law was passed on the number of children each parent is to have. When family planning is introduced and passed as a Law with implementation in Nigeria, parents will not “release” babies again as if they are urinating. Because of the plan, the created job opportunities will go to some extent and results to the reduction in the high unemployment rate in the country.

Computer Skill Acquisition: We are in the age where computer plays important roles. The truth is that the importance of computer cannot be overemphasized. Its usefulness is found in many departments of any establishment in the world of today. In production companies, banking sector, education, and even in agriculture, the computer has many roles to play.

Unemployment among Nigerian graduates would have been reduced by equipping them with computer skills when they were still undergraduates. I believe in using what you have to get what you want in the positive sense of it because many undergraduates have computers. Many students in the institutions of higher learning in Nigeria can be taught on how to make money by the use of their computers. This can come in form of seminars sponsored by either the government of the country or the campuses. When the students learn good skills acquisition on the computer, they can develop it to be a source of their income even in their institutions and after their graduation.

The means of making money from the computer which has become a source of employment to many include: writing online articles and getting paid by advertising network (blogging), application design, website design and others. The joy of blogging and application design is that the worker can work from home being self-employed and then get paid per day. Again, it is free and is being managed by Google and that is why it is called Google Blogger. Blogging is simple to learn. What a blogger (one who writes online articles using a blog) needs to do to start earning is to monetize his or her articles using Google Adsense. He or she has to get approval from Google Adsense before earning any cash from Adsense. People can signup here on Hubpages and start making money through writing to minimize unemployment in Nigeria. The author can be contacted on Facebook for assistance.

There are many online article writers in Nigeria that have made a lot of money from blogging. Initially, it was not easy for them but after they wrote a lot of articles online, their blogs or websites began to earn cash for them. Linda Ikeji is a young Nigerian lady and blogger who make more than 3 million naira per month in the country. She started from little but today she is popular due to hard work she put in blogging. When people are taught properly on blogging, they get employed and even make establishments where the unemployed in the society will be employed.

Seminars on Change of Mindset: There are a lot of people in tertiary institutions that are not versatile, and they have the mindset that the only place they will work is in offices that are garnished with air-conditions and other good things that help life. Others have the mindset that the places they will work are those that only relates to the area of their study.

This is one of the reasons why many male graduates are still wearing the trousers that their biological fathers discarded long time ago because of insufficient funds to purchase their own. When the mindsets of many are changed to good by teaching them in seminars to acquire some other important skills apart from their area of specialization, the unemployment rate in my country, Nigeria, will be reduced.

Industrial Development and Infrastructure: Construction of more industries in Nigeria will go a long way to reducing unemployment in Nigeria. The Government of Nigeria should give more allocation to industrial development and infrastructure whenever they are making their yearly budget.

Even if Nigerians do not know how to operate or manage the industries, some good citizens should be sent abroad to acquire the skills, come back and help the country. The skills they acquired will be developed by their headings in many industries in the country. That is the importance of training and development. That was what countries like Brazil and Indian did before they started advancing in technological development. Nigeria as a country that needs to grow in technology can still do the same.

Bridging Foreign Contractors: Another problem that we have in this country, Nigeria, is: the opportunities Nigerians have are being handed over to foreigners. Nigerian government awards lots of construction works to foreigners with the mindset that Nigerian engineers will not perform such function effectively. Not only that, the foreign contractors

travel to their countries to bring artisans to Nigeria who will also perform the less technical work instead of choosing Nigerians for the work. When foreign contractors and their co-brothers are prevented from being awarded such contracts, Nigerians will take over the jobs.

Embracing Practical in Institution: Less practical is one of the reasons why many Nigerian graduates are half-baked. They lack practical background during their study. It is a challenge in Nigerian education. When there are installations of machines and other equipment needed for their study, skills and practical knowledge will be acquired. With the acquired practical knowledge, Nigerian graduates can go into production and increase the employment rate.

Encouraging Schemes like YouWIN: YouWIN stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovative program. It is a business plan competition initiated by the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan, to assist Nigerian graduates with business ideas. Any who writes an outstanding business plan is being given some fund to start-up a business or to support the already existing one. The reason for initiation of this program is to increase employment and reduce unemployment. Establishing more of this kind of scheme by both government and individuals will go a long way to curb the menace-unemployment.

Organizing Competition: It brings out the best in people. Organizing competitions among students of various institutions tend to sharpen their brains and train them on what they can do. For instance, organizing essay competitions for students train them on how to write winning essays. This can train people on how to be good news reporters and areas related to article writing which in return can fetch a job for the person. In the other hand, organizing singing competitions train people on how to sing and can convert many to lifetime singers or musicians.

Skill Acquisition as a Key Solution to Nigeria's Unemployment

Skill before Tertiary Institution: Any person who gains admission into tertiary institutions without first acquiring skill or skills is like castings made through sand casting process with lots of defects in that casting. Any person that wants to enroll in any tertiary institution in Nigeria should first acquire skill in any area that can fetch money for him even before and after his graduation as Nigerian tertiary institutions are full theories with little or no practical backup.

This should be passed as a Law and should be implemented. Any person that is interesting in gaining admission into the universities or polytechnics in Nigeria must first be equipped skilfully. He or she must present the certificate that shows that he went to training for acquisition of skill before being admitted for any study in tertiary institutions. There is much importance of training for skill acquisition for both the small, young and the adult.

According to Nigeria Statistics Bureau, NSB, over 200,000 graduates are graduated from Nigeria tertiary institutions each year. The question is: are all the graduates employable or skillful? When one pass through training for about six months before being issued admission, he/she can be employed based on the skill he/she acquired before securing admission into the institution and even issue employment to the unemployed.

Salary Increase: When the president of USA, President Obama, was interviewed by the chairman of Cable News Network (CNN) on 30th January 2014, based on unemployment in the USA, the president said that he will raise the salary of government workers to $10.10 (ten dollars ten cents) per hour. Increasing the salaries of workers will make them generate more money and make small establishment where the unemployed will be employed.


Nobody in the Federal Republic of Nigeria should fold hands and expect the major pressing issue in the country, unemployment, to go overnight.Discussed are the strategies that are applicable to reduce unemployment challenge in Nigeria. It is important to know that unemployment cannot be wiped entirely from any nation but rather can be reduced. In the introduction of this article, a little overview was made on the unemployment issue in Nigeria. In the body of this piece, the major strategies for minimizing unemployment in the country were discussed. In conclusion, with these strategies, there will be an effective reduction in Nigeria unemployment rate. The should seriously monitor the new Universal Basic Education of the country which encourages skill acquisition.


•International Labour Organization (ILO) on Unemployment
•National Bureau Statistics of Nigeria
•Causes and Consequences of Unemployment by Emmanuel Edukugho on Vanguard online News
•Causes of Unemployment by Wikipedia
•Unemployment in Nigeria: Causes and Solutions by Llodtruth in Nairaland
•Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, fifth edition, edited by Jonathan Crowther
•CNN Exclusive: Obama says Walmart, Apple, others to help Jobless
•Wold Development Indicators by World Bank
•SMEs: The Solution to Unemployment in Nigeria by Olanrewaju Oniyitan
•Unemployment in Nigeria: Causes and Solution by Lloydtruth

Cast Your Vote


peter on August 06, 2020:

thank you very much my brother, your views are really educating! it really helped me during my essay writing.

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on May 03, 2020:

Thank you for sharing :) Similar to the Phillipines, I was told due to overpopulation and lack of available jobs, a nurse could graduate but the chances were slim to find a job as hundreds of applicants would apply for the same single job opening. Many would have to resort to becoming a traveling nurse or working on a cruise ship. Our problem as a nation here, there are plenty of jobs to go around, but some do not want to work for it. There are a record number of people applying for disability without a true disability which cuts down the workforce. Now in our current situation, as many other nations, unemployment is sky high because of shutdowns/ COVID - 19. Have a wonderful week :)

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on August 02, 2019:

Thanks Magispen for your view through the comment.

MagisPen from Nigeria on August 02, 2019:

I think with this we can get a better job ideology

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on April 22, 2019:

Thanks for commenting Blessing.

Blessing Andrew on April 22, 2019:

I found it very helpful and very informative it gave me all I needed for my essay


Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on December 29, 2016:

Your made a nice point Favour. Thanks.

Favour on December 27, 2016:

I would like to add one more critical cause of unemployment which I think is by far the most responsible culprit.

Most of the working class people in Nigeria have a parasitic way of milking their employers businesses which is why many businesses fail and entrepreneurs can not afford to run multiple businesses that they can't be present to monitor. I speak as an entrepreneur, do your research and you will find out it is true. Nigerians need to be educated on the need to avoid the temptation of enriching themselves at the expense of their employers business because it kills businesses

cfrankado on October 23, 2016:

Refuse to be jobless! Get your detailed business ideas and plans on

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on May 03, 2016:

Thank you Jaystars for the motivating comment. Am not surprised anyway because it was written to be helpful to readers.

Jaystars on May 03, 2016:

This article is rely helpful, bro.!

it helped me a lot during my academic research.

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on January 09, 2016:

I am happy you are happy; otherwise this article will be useless.

abdullateef yusuf on January 03, 2016:

am very happy to find this article...... thanks sooo much for posting it. really appreciate.

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on December 25, 2015:

Ezeibe, I am impressed you found my work interesting.

ABC Ezeibe on October 18, 2015:

Very interesting. I found it very useful. More grease to your elbow.

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on October 01, 2015:

Thanks for saying good of the work of young Nigerian who works hard to be agent of change to his country.

oladeji bukola on September 30, 2015:

I love this article,very inspiring and educating

John Nelso on September 11, 2015:

keep it up, it is every nice work ,

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on August 13, 2015:

I am happy you found my article useful Olaniyi. Thanks for coming around.

Awonuga olaniyi.I. on August 13, 2015:

Infact, that was very great,i learn alot 4rm it,it also help me out on my assignment.thanks very much

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on July 17, 2015:

I am happy you found it useful.

Silas Demshak on July 17, 2015:

U have said it all my brother. Thank u, u help me, i pick some points in side to form my assignment.

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