Unemployment Rate in Nigeria: Statistics, Causes and Solutions to Unemployment in Nigeria

Learn how to make the best of your day!Okay, it's now a quick magic trick but it sure works.

So many inidividuals go around their day getting frustrated at life as well as themselves simply because they are not making the best of their days. We're here to help you correct that.
All we need is your co-op, are you willing?

Gone are the days when employment upon graduation was assured for graduates in Nigeria, those who invested all of their youthful days into reading books upon books, making researches all in a bid to graduate with a first or second class in universities but now, even to the ‘Best Graduating Student for a university’ getting employed in a much desired location is an herculean task in Nigeria due to numerous causes, including the fact that most officials now play the dirty game of politics when recruiting new personnel for firms most especially in public corporations and those who are not fit metrically are employed into enviable positions while their deserving mates are taking to riding bikes and unlearning what they’d spent over 20 years of their lives learning in the formal educational institutions.

Statistics of Unemployment Rate in Nigeria

In recent times, the rate of unemployed graduates and youths roaming the streets of Nigeria after completing their tertiary education or one done with  their service to the nation at the National Youth Service is so disturbing that it has contributed its tod to being one of the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation of the world.

In the third quarter of 2018, according to the report made by the National Bureau of statistics; the rate of unemployed individuals in the nation was 20,927,648 in comparison to the total 90,470,592 employed citizens in Nigeria which equates the unemployment rates to about 23.131% percent and the total unemployment rate (including Underemployed/Part-time employed citizens) to 43.26%, what’s more – the unemployment rate in the nation is projected to get as high as 33.5 per cent by 2020.

Nigerian youths seem to be in a drag with unemployment over the years because the issue of unemployment seems to worsen with each quarter of the years passing. For example the unemployment rate of Nigerians since the second quarter of 2019 (Q2) till the third quarter of 2018 (Q3) has been 16.20-18.80-20.42-21.83-22.73-23.13 respectively which displays a steady increment in the unemployment rates of youths and citizens Nigeria: National Bureau of Statistics.

The population of unemployed youths in Nigeria ages 15-35 is about 60 percent of the total 80 million young people in the nation.

Some states also have a higher unemployment ratings that others e.g. In Q3 2018, Akwa Ibom state reported the highest unemployment rate (37.7%), followed by Rivers State with (36.4%), Bayelsa state (32.6%), Abia (31.6%) and Borno state (31.4%). The states with the highest unemployed population are Rivers (1,673,991), Akwa Ibom (1,357,754), Kano (1,257,130), Lagos (1,088,352) – having such a great unemployment population due to its massive population and Kaduna with (940,480) and this all are influenced by various reasons, happenings, beliefs, lifestyles and living patterns of the people in these states.

Note: This statistics is from the 3rd quarter of 2018 as this is the most recently available one reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Nigeria

Effects of Unemployment on Youths in Nigeria

An idle man is the devil’s workshop, so they say now let’s learn about the adversities of being unemployed as a young individual in Nigeria

Increment in crime rates

When youths are not employed and unable to use their energy in the right positions, they get goaded by society or influenced by friends or even themselves in doing things the wrong way.

The frustration visible on their angry faces leads them into pertaking in both dangerous acts and this is why there has been a constant occurences of such incidents as robbing, killing, terrorism, sexual or physical violence, human trafficking and so on.

Involvement in illicit means to make money

In a bid to keep body and sould together , unemployed individuals get involved in illegal activities all channeled towards making money and keeping them alive actiities such as ritual rites, cyber crime, deadly deeds such as decapitations and the trasactions of human parts and so on.

Young adults getting involved in Yahoo Yahoo shouldn’t have become an issue but due to the fact that many are unemployed and it is seen as a quick source to make money, living off scamming innocent adults of their hard-earned money.

Also one detriment of this is that youths and the society applauds the successful ones in cyber crime.

Increase in poverty around the country

Since there’s no source of income for unemployed individuals in the nation, these set of people are left to feed off the crumbs of society as they go around working menial and discouraging jobs such as bike riding, cart-pushers, market boys and so on.

Increase in rural-urban migration

Take Lagos for an example, due to its supposedly rich economy and a high job market, it has become a target for the many unemployed youths all across Nigeria since it’s a hot market, more and more individuals keep migrating to the state with hopes of a better life through work but what they do not realize is the fact that this make employment much more difficult and competitive.

Economic Backwardness

When those who are supposed to be working and aiding the development of the country are unable to find befitting jobs through which they are able to contriute their own quota to economic development, this would result into an economic dormancy or even stagnations as these offices are not filled with the innovators of tomorrow.

Most offices (in public firms) are filled with old workers with fake National IDs making a prevarication of their ages and other documents just so they can keep on lynching off the government’s purse.

The young are the innovators but since most are unemployed and unable to get their heads right, the cycle of economic backwardness gets cosisitent.

High Level of Dependence in the nation

Unemployment of the work-force contributes to the dependency population in the country which includes children and the elderly.

Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria

Steady Increase in Population

Judging by the last National Census made in 2006, Nigeria’s population at the time was put about 140,431,790, looking into today’s metrics, there has definitely been an upshot in the nation’s population as we are now at 216 million+ and are predicted to reach 250 by the year 2030

This country is blessed with a really large population, 7th in the world and this is steadily increasing but also it means this results into a larger labour force, which is over-abounding the job market. In essence, a  larget labour force and a lower job market leads to mass unemployment because the job posts are filled up while job seekers are still abounding.

The Unnecessary Desire for White-Collar Jobs by Youths

The white-man's jobs has blinded most youths to the numerous traditional works left undone and which is a bank of resources to tap into. Click To Tweet

Many unemployed youths in the nations are only so because they all wish to be white-collar workers in big firms companies and this blinds them to the opportunities traditional jobs bring their way as they all want to be in offices controlling an amount of staffs at their disposal.

Corruption in public administering Offices

Corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society especially in public offices, funds that should have been used in developing Nigeria into a vibrant economy which would’ve catered for more jobs for the growing population has over the years been digressed into the private bank accounts of corrupt and debauched government officials especially those in higher positions e.g  hereby robbing Nigerian youths of the chance to have a better life through education and work.

When recruiting as well, bribery is the normal thing in the nation, to get anything as a job in a desired firm, you might be asked by corrupt recruiting officers to bring as much as half your promised salary at the firm, where are the poor and hungry youths expected to gather such fees from.

Reduction in Foreign Investments in the country which ought to increase employment

Over the last four (4) years – the recession period in Nigeria, there as been a massive drop in foreign investments in Nigeria which when implemented would have provided Nigerian youths with more job opportunities to take to.

Nepotism and Favoritism

Most job seekers only waste their times going on interviews seeking employment at firms in Nigeria as there already has been a winner even before the interview commenced.

Nepotism is favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs or empowering them more than others). This is the sad reality in many organizations in Nigeria as the ones who really should get jobs bases on quality and performance are not employed but the son of someone somewhere who’d paid the interviewer even more than his/her salary and who might actually not be qualified to hold such positions

Poor Educational System

The average Nigerian graduate had been deem unempoyable by some educational schorlars and commentators and this is true.

The failure of educational institutions in Nigeria to provide students with appropriate skills sets knowledgeable enough to make them employable has contributed its own quota in increasing the rates of unemployment among youths in Nigeria.

Imagine having an accounting graduate who has no idea of what Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint it – Who would want to employ such a person?

Many schools lack structure and only follow what is given by the government to educate the students but at the end of all the studies, the teachings become irrelevant as the nation’s educational system seems to not be up-to date or fit for the job market globally. The result of this is brain-drain the nation as many students who are informed would rather strive to get educated outside the nation then come get a great job in Nigeria.

Economical Recession/s

During the last major recession Nigeria had under the administratorship of President. Muhammadu Buhari, so many employed workers were laid off by their employers as they 

(firms) needed to lose some weight on salary payment, this also causes unemployment for some.

Lack of diversification in the economy

Nigeria for the longest had depended on oil as its major source of income and when its transactions and sales booms, the economy rises – but when it doesn’t yeah well, the other way happens and this was what led to the major recession the nation suffered not quite long ago which it still is paying for.

This has led to the neglect of other sectors in the nations which could have contributed in boosting the economy in better ways than oil ever would e.g the lack of development in the agricultural sector at one point led to the decline and appreciation of products made from the nation. Establishment and investment into other major or even minor sector serves as a medium to create a better job market for youths across the nation.

Solutions to the Problem of Unemployment in Nigerian Youths

Digital Skill Acquisition

Digital skills in modern times have gotten high demand and so has the world of freelancers who get paid working form any part of the nation or the world.

Youths should learn one or two skills that are employable and fairly hot (not too much on demand as this reduces the competition levels and chances of getting better jobs with them) so they don’t need to waste their times running 9-5 for their remaining days in the labor force.

E.g learning how to code is something every job seeker or youth should try as this is a self-development platforms in the field enabling students to learn on their tod and when done well could help one become a self-sustained entrepreneur living off such digital skills.

Personal Education

At the end of it all it boils down to personal education, we know that the academia is not fit enough for the job market, are you even interested in the job market?

If not, educate yourself to become an entrepreneur, do what you can, follow your heart and use your brain, train yourself so well that you become even more employable than your lecturer or teacher.

-Check out the — Platforms to Learn New Skills

Youth Involvement in Entrepreneurial Ventures

Youths should try to invest their time into entrepreneurial ventures; this would drastically reduce the dependency rate in the nation as well as provide job opportunities for fellow job seekers, companies like TechPoint where started on one person’s idea and now, it’s providing jobs that makes live better to people and what’s more, it’s a fun entreprise to be.

One thing that hold us back though is fear, but it actually doesn’t have to be perfect before you can do it, you just need to learn and know what you want it to do/be then start learning and keep on geting better.

Progress is the success key to every entrepreneur and everyone can be one because everyone’s got ideas in them.

Talent Development

This may sound cliche but it’s true, there’s something in every youth or person, something different, something that’s special and unique to you. 

This may be music, acting, graphics designs, production, photography or so on, developing these things into businesses and making one an employer of labor is not far fetched.

Linda Ikeji might have never been where she is now if not that she loved being updated with celebrity gist and so worked on the blogged and here we are now, she’s one of the most visited blogs IN THE WORLD.

A man's gift makes room for him And brings him before great men-Proverbs 18:6 Click To Tweet

When people learn to develop their innate abilities and have a great relationship with it, it gives them a sense of purpose and willingness to continue.

How Government Can Help Solve Unemployment in the nation

Better Educational Curricular 

Inclusion of vocational lessons in the curricular would help empower youths right from their various learning institutions with skills that can be marketed, solved and turned into businesses. For example the teaching of carpentry or snailry might be a tedious act but only would the benefits be realized by teh young ones when they are out of the educational world and are job seekers.

Inclusion of ICT in class

This helps to stay up to date with what is being operated in the educational system globally as well as educates the kids in the usage of such needed tools.

Investment and involvement in other economic sector such as agriculture which would eventually lead to the creation of a job market in such field.

Focusing on youth empowerment as a means of solving the issue of unemployment in the nation especially in the youths.

Support of Entrepreneurial Ventures

Just as NPower but better than it.

Youths are now seeeking to become venturers, maybe we were lazy but some of us have realized we need to change something.

The Nigerian government should maybe create a panel of business advisors reachable to the public which would would be a platform open to youths, a means to discuss and share entrepreneurial ideas, this would go a long way in bringing the goverment closer to the people as well as create a learning platform for these young entrepreneurs.

Development of Other Profitable Sectors

When other sectors gets evenly developed as oil in the nation, it leads to a myriad of employment oppurtunities for youths who are career-minded, this way, not everyone puts their eggs in one basket but into many baskets and even when one fails another stays.


One more thing to say
Youths really do not need to rely on government of the society to give them jobs, we can all be entrepreneurs but this doesn’t make us all business owners and CEOs, instead we can all support the growth of various firms across the nation and beyond it.
Check the point made on Youth Involvement in Entrepreneurial Ventures and start something up today!

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Receive updates each time we upload something new.

If you've gained from this, please let others too

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *