Recent figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown that over 3.67 million Nigerians lost their jobs between October 2015 to September 2016.
Further analysis of the report on unemployment within that period of time showed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 7.51 million in the beginning of the October 2015 to 11.19 million at the end of September 2016.
The report added that while the number of those employed rose from 55.21 million in the beginning of the fourth quarter to 69.47 million as of the end of September, the labour force population rose from 75.94 million to 80.66 million.
A breakdown of the 3.67 million unemployed Nigerians showed that about 522,000 people became jobless within the fourth quarter of 2015; while 1.44 million people joined the labour force in the first quarter of 2016.
For the second and third quarters of 2016, further analysis of the unemployment report of the NBS showed that about 1.16 million and 550,000 people entered the labour market in search of jobs.
The NBS report explained that unemployment rate was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34.
The report also stated that unemployment and underemployment were higher for women in the third quarter of 2016.
“Given that the nature of rural jobs is largely menial and unskilled, such as in agriculture, unemployment is more of a concern in urban areas where more skilled labour is required.
“The unemployment rate in the urban areas was 18.3 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent in the rural areas, as the preference is more for formal white-collar jobs, which are located mostly in urban centres,” the report said.
Speaking on the unemployment rate in the country, the President, Institute of Productivity and Business Innovation Management, Mr. Remi Dairo, said the harsh operating environment may have been responsible for the development.
He said, “The huge number of unemployment is a reflection of the current economic realities as only few businesses are growing and employing while many others are shedding jobs.
“The lack of productive skills in both the private and public sector is one of the major reasons for the country’s underdevelopment and there is need for a comprehensive education policy that would help to address the skill gaps in the country.
“In order to close the existing gaps in skills between the extant programmes of educational institutions and the requirements in the industry, the government needs to restructure the educational system to meet the present and future needs of the country.”