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Nigeria Requires 11m Jobs Annually To Tackle Unemployment – UN

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Nigeria needs to create 11 million jobs annually to address its youths unemployment challenge, the Regional Coordinator, United Nations Environment Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), Mr Richard Munang, has said.

This is just as the President of EBAFOSA-Nigeria, Mr James Oyesola, declared that Nigeria needs to urgently tackle its rising youth unemployment situation.

Also quoting the Bureau of Statistics data, Mr Oyesola pointed out that out of 85.08 million people in active labour force in Nigeria, 16 million were unemployed in the third quarter of 2017.

Both Munang and Oyesola spoke at the UNEP-EBAFOSA Nigeria Policy Harmonization meeting for implementing the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and Climate Action, held in Abuja.

Mr Munang regretted that despite its current unemployment challenge, Nigeria has continued to import more unemployment by importing mere tomato paste worth $360 million every year.

“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 unemployment that she got,” Mr Munang added.

On the importance of their engagement with other government Ministries, agencies and parastatals, the UNEP regional coordinator said: “The importance of this policy harmonization 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 youths.

“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 the 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 be able to create job opportunities for the youths.”

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

He, however, regretted that only 34.2 million hectares (48%) is cultivated.

He pointed out that despite all this, over 53 million (about 30 percent of Nigerians remain under-nourished and majority of Nigerians (65 percent) remain food insecure.

He said, “About 72 per cent of Nigerians (118.2 million) are poor. The youth unemployment rate is on the increase from 9.84 % in 2008 to about 13.41% in 2017 and in fact youths are needed to be engaged more than before.

“The active labour force is 85.08 million people in Nigeria and about 16 million people were unemployed in one third quarter of 2017 (Bureau of statistics)”.

Oyesola warned that Nigeria is facing a youth bulge as the average age of the population is 18 years and is expected to overtake the United States to become the third most populous  country in the world by 2050.

 

 

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