COVID-19 Impact Worsens Unemployment In Nigeria, Young People Most Affected – Experts

By Bukar Bolori 

Experts at the on-going series of workshops organized by the United Nations Country Team in Nigeria as part of the Common Country Analysis (CCA) for Nigeria, have noted that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated the unemployment situation in the country.

The workshops which run from 9 – 18 August, seek to validate with key stakeholders of UN, the UN Country Team’s analysis of the country situation across various thematic areas and to identify data and issue gaps.

A statement on Wednesday signed by the National Information Officer, UN, Oluseyi Soremekun said in a presentation on the Economy, the expert: Ms. Precious Akanonu, the National Economist of UNDP; Mr. Hamidou Poufon, the Chief of Social Protection, UNICEF; Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, Assistant Representative, FAO; and Mr. Nonso Obikili, the Development Coordination Officer (Economist) in the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office; observed that informal employment is still predominant, noting that International Labour Organisation (ILO) had estimated the share of informal employment in non-agricultural employment at 83.7%.

According to them, Nigerian economy is not creating enough jobs and a significant share of the employed were working below their capacity, which puts underemployment rate at 22.8% in 2020. 

They added that: “In 2020, Young people were most affected with a youth unemployment rate of 53.4%. Gender imbalances were present with unemployment rates higher for females (35.2%) compared to males (31.8%).”

They called for creation of conditions for sustained and inclusive economic growth to drive progress, create decent jobs for all, and improve living standards which are critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” 

In his remarks, the Head of the Resident Coordinator’s Office, Mr Ernest Mutanga, explained that the United Nations in Nigeria would hold eight virtual workshops across specific themes: economy, demographics and human capital development, governance, gender and social inclusion, youth, climate, and financing and public sector management.

The CCA is the UN system’s independent, impartial, and collective assessment and analysis of a country’s situation for its use in developing the new 2023- 2027, while the Cooperation Framework is an agreement between the UN and the host government which determines and reflects the UN development system’s contributions in the country.

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