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Nigeria Needs 50m Additional Jobs To Escape Economic Collapse – World Bank

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, March 15, (THEWILL) – A World Bank study made public in Abuja on Tuesday, has noted that Nigeria needs to create an estimated 40 to 50 million additional jobs between 2010 and 2030 in order to avert a nationwide market crisis which may result in possible economic collapse.

According to the set of three reports, majority of adult Nigerians are employed but locked into low productivity and low-income work, with no job or income security.

One of the reports titled 'More and More Productive Jobs for Nigeria' gave a detailed overview of jobs, workers and employment opportunities; the second titled 'Understanding and Driving Private Sector Growth in Nigeria' focused on constraints and drivers of firm-level growth and implications for employment.

The third report, 'Skills for Competitiveness and Employability,' examined the demand in priority economic and job growth sectors and how to ensure that Nigerians have the right skill sets.

“To reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth, the jobs to be created need to be more productive and provide higher incomes than the country's jobs today,” the reports said.

“Understanding where people work, constraints to firm growth, and the skills needed is fundamental for formulating appropriate policies, and the detailed diagnostics in these reports are critical inputs to developing education and job strategies for Nigeria,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, Country Director, World Bank in Nigeria.

According to the reports, two Nigeria seem to be emerging, one in which high and diversified growth provides more jobs and more income opportunities, and the other in which workers are trapped in traditional subsistence activities.

The reports also show a geographical divide, with Northern Nigeria having low levels of education access and high youth underemployment than Southern Nigeria adding that the South is experiencing more demand than the North for the cognitive skills required by the new knowledge economy.

The bad economic situation is worsened by the fact that some 30 percent of Nigerian youth have not completed more than primary education, adding that beyond basic skills, better policies and programmes would improve access and market relevance of technical vocational education and training.

The reports also said that raising agricultural productivity by incorporating smallholder farmers into value chains, increasing access to markets, inputs and technology would both help raise income opportunities for smallholder farmers and simultaneously tap into the significant potential for domestic agriculture and agribusinesses in Nigeria.

They also regard agriculture as critical, saying it will remain the largest employer for the foreseeable future, as the sector contributed 22 percent to GDP in 2012 but employed half of the Nigerian working population.

Story by David Oputah