The number of Nigerians currently unemployed in the country has increased from 6,063,482 in the 2nd quarter 2015 to 23,187,389 in the 4th quarter 2020, a difference of 17,123,907 people are unemployed, according to a release by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari alone, according to the NBS, Nigeria recorded at least 282 per cent increase in the population of unemployed people, representing the highest ever since 1999.
These findings are evident in the new report, Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment the NBS released midweek alongside the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the rate of inflation in the country.
With this disturbing data, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has challenged the federal government to remove policy constraints to foreign and domestic investment as a measure to create more jobs and wealth nationwide.
The report shows unemployment rate grew from 6.41 per cent in 2014, the last full year spent by former President Goodluck Jonathan in office to 10.44 per cent in 2015, the year Buhari took charge, representing about 62.87 per cent increase in the rate.
From 10.44 per cent in 2015, the report further revealed, unemployment rate sprouted to 14.23 per cent in 2016, accounting for a 36.3 per cent increase within the year; 20.42 per cent in 2017, a 43.49 per cent upsurge between 2016 and 2017 and to 23.13 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
While unemployment rates from 4th quarter 2018 to 4th quarter 2019 were missing in the NBS spreadsheet, the report put the cumulative unemployment rate in 2020 at 33.28 per cent, indicating a 43.88 per cent jump from the 3rd quarter 2018.
By implication, according to the NBS data, unemployment rate increased from 23.13 per cent in the 3rd quarter 2018 to 27.11 per cent in the 2nd quarter 2020 and 33.28 in the 4th quarter in 2020.
Precisely in the 4th quarter 2014, the report put the total number of unemployed citizens at 4,672, 449, which rose by 71.98% to 8,036,102 in the 4th quarter 2015; by 43.72% to 11,549,310 in the 4th quarter 2016; by 53% to 17,671,142 in the 4th quarter 2017; by 18.43% to 20,927648 in the third quarter 2018 and by 10.79% to 23, 187,389 in the 4th quarter 2020.
In correlation with the workforce statistics, the report revealed that of the 101,769,739 within the working age in 4th quarter 2014, about 28,838,131 were classified “not in the workforce”, which accounted for about 28.34%.
In the 4th quarter 2015, the report revealed that the working age population had risen by 3.19% to 105,023,335 while 28,065,412, about 26.72% of the workforce, were classified as utterly out of jobs or outrightly unemployed.
By 4th quarter 2016, according to the NBS data, the working age population increased to 108,591,600 while the population of those who were not in the workforce rose to 27,439,715, which accounted for 25.27 per cent of the workforce.
By 4th quarter 2017, the report revealed that the workforce increased to 112,118,970 while the population of citizens classified as “not in the workforce” declined by 6.77 per cent to 25,581,431 in the same year.
While the working age population grew to 115,492,970 in the third 2018, the NBS report put the population of those not in the workforce at 25,022,378 with a 2.19 per cent marginal decrease.
In 2020, however, there was an unprecedented rise in the working age population to 122,049,400 while those who were not in the workforce increased to 52,373,932, which accounted for 109 per cent change between the 4th quarter 2018 and the 4th quarter 2020.