Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Is Time Bomb

The Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Segun Oshinowo, has warned that if the high rate of unemployment in the country is not checked, it is a time bomb that would explode any time.

He lamented that the rising unemployment trend in the country portends grave danger, adding that was akin to pointing a gun at head of the country which the trigger may be pulled at any time.

Oshinowo said government’s projection on the economy was yet to synchronise with the reality, even as he faulted figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

He said: “If we are talking about good governance, it is not figures that will showcase such, but quality of life of the people. We should be looking at things such as accessibility to health and additional jobs that had been created. To the best of my knowledge from interacting with Nigerians and observing happenings around, one cannot really say that there has been any significant improvement in this economy.”

The NBS recently published new rates of unemployment for Nigeria’s economy from 2010 – 2014 based on a new methodology, which suggested that the economy is almost at full–employment, as the rate for last quarter of last year stood at 6.4 per cent. The rate as at  first quarter of this year was 7.5 per cent. One is not so much concerned about the methodology used because they are based on certain assumptions, so if any of the assumptions is relaxed, the calculated rate may be different.

Oshinowo noted that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate might be saying something to the contrary.

He asked rhetorically: “Government might say that they have posted 6.5 or 7.0 per cent but when you really look at the facts on the street, how many jobs have we created? To what extent has the quality of life of Nigerians been significantly improved in the last six months? How many businesses have come on stream?”

He added: “Currently, we have started a survey on the health of our member companies, especially those in the North, and from the discussions we’ve had with them, we’ve been told that sales had gone down by 25 per cent. And if the trend should continue by the end of the year, quite a number of them will have to downsize. So, the outlook is grim, I must say.”

He wondered why Nigeria continues to experience unemployment growth despite its rating as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.



Source: The Nation Nigera

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