Solving Nigeria’s rising youth unemployment

By Staff Reporter

The United Nations Environment Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (UNEP-EBAFOSA) recently stated that the biggest problem of African countries, including Nigeria, is youth unemployment. The UN agency also revealed that Nigeria must create 11 million new jobs every year to solve the problem.

The regional coordinator of the UNEP-EBAFOSA, Dr. Richard Munang, disclosed this at the UNEP-EBAFOSA Nigeria policy harmonisation meeting for the implementation of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and Climate Action in Abuja. The importance of the meeting, according to UNEP regional coordinator, is to help Nigeria implement its climate obligations in such a way that opportunities can be created for the youth. Munang also pointed out that Nigeria is even worsening the problem by importing tomato paste worth $360 million every year. Besides, Nigeria is reportedly losing N9 billion every year due to post-harvest losses. This is one challenge that African leaders must quickly resolve before the situation explodes. Also, the President of EBAFOSA-Nigeria, James Oyesola, reiterated that the youth should be engaged more now than ever before in view of the rising unemployment in the country. Available statistics show that the general unemployment figure in Africa is about 32 per cent with youth unemployment alone responsible for 60 per cent of it. In Nigeria, the 2018 NBS statistics point to 23.3 per cent unemployment figure with youth unemployment at over 40 per cent. Nigeria has about 98.3 million hectares of arable land of which 72.2 million hectares are cultivable. Regrettably, only 34.2 million hectares were cultivated. While over 53 million Nigerians remain undernourished, 65 per cent of Nigerians are food insecure.

We bemoan the rising youth unemployment in Africa, especially Nigeria, which has enough arable land for agriculture. At the same time, we commend the UN agency for bringing to the fore the rising unemployment problem on the continent and how it can be tackled through agriculture. Therefore, we call on Nigeria and other African countries to tap their agricultural potentials and create more jobs for the unemployed youths. We can go back to the era of groundnut pyramid, cocoa plantation, oil palm and rubber. We must also cut our appetite for foreign foods. Nigeria should stop the importation of tomato paste said to be costing the country a whopping $360 million yearly. It is also sad that the country loses N9 billion yearly due to post-harvest losses alone. The nexus between youth unemployment and the insurgency in the North East region of the country cannot be overemphasized.

Therefore, the government should rise to the challenge and create millions of jobs for the unemployed youths to stem the insecurity in the land. Government can only do this by diversifying the nation’s economy through agriculture and the development of the solid minerals sector. They should more investment in agriculture and the solid minerals to change the nation’s unemployment narrative. The continent is in dire need of resources to build her basic and critical infrastructure that can hasten its industrial development. It is sad that many countries in Africa lack basic infrastructure such as good roads, potable water, transportation and functional health and education systems.

African countries should exploit arts and culture as well as sports and tourism to create more jobs for the youths. These countries must invest in scientific and technological education. We say this because no continent or nation can develop without adequate knowledge of science and technology. For science to take root in Africa, African leaders must provide the enabling environment.

Therefore, there is need for these countries to pay attention to technical, vocational and entrepreneurial education with emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We believe that this kind of education can equip the beneficiaries with the necessary tools to overcome unemployment and even be self-employed. Nigeria should establish more technical and vocational schools as a way of solving the rising unemployment among her youths.

Source The Sun

Nigeria: Youth unemployment, Africa’s biggest problem – (UNEP – EBAFOSA)

The United Nations Environment Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (UNEP-EBAFOSA) has said the biggest problem Africa is facing today, especially Nigeria, is youth unemployment, which requires about 11 million jobs every year to engage the unemployed.


The regional coordinator, United Nations Environment Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), Dr. Richard Munang, stated this at the UNEP-EBAFOSA Nigeria policy harmonisation meeting for implementing the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), and Climate Action, in Abuja, stressing that Nigeria presently huge unemployment via unfriendly policies.

Despite this reality, he regretted that Nigeria has continued to creating more unemployment by importing such items as tomato paste worth $360 million every year.

His words: “But at the same time, Nigeria is losing N9 billion every year as a result of post-harvest losses. Nigeria is importing tomato worth $360 million every year. That means Nigeria is importing unemployment to add on top of the unemployment that she got.”

On the importance of their engagement with other government ministries, agencies and parastatals, the UNEP regional coordinator said: “The importance of this policy harmonisation for climate action coordinated under the UN Environment Framework for Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly is actually to help Nigeria implement its climate obligations in such a way that opportunities can be created for the youth.

“If you look at Nigeria today, Nigeria is losing food as a result of post-harvest losses worth $9 billion every year. This is loss not just in food but also of incomes and opportunities, especially for youths; because, as we are speaking today, Nigeria needs to create 11 million jobs every year to be able to absolve unemployed youths in the country.

“But the question is, where do these jobs come from? They can come as a result of expanding the entire agro-value chain, which is the only area you can create job opportunities for youths.”

In the same vein, the president of EBAFOSA-Nigeria, Mr. James Oyesola, said the youth needed to be engaged now more than ever before amid rising unemployment.

He stated that youth unemployment rate in Nigeria has steadily been on the increase, rising from 9.8 per cent in 2008, to 13.41 per cent in 2017.

Quoting the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Oyesola pointed out that, out of 85.08 million people in the active workforce in Nigeria, 16 million were unemployed in most of 2017.

According to Oyesola, Nigeria has about 98.3 million hectares of arable land of which 72.2 million hectares are cultivable, which is about 23 per cent of arable land across all the West Africa.

He, however, regretted that only 34.2 million hectares was cultivated, with over 53 million Nigerians remain undernourished and majority of Nigerians (65 per cent) remain food insecure.


Source The Sun