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Nigeria facing acute jobless crises – World Bank

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The World Bank has stated that Nigeria is facing an acute job crisis that puts pressure on irregular migration for Nigerians, who are seeking to leave the country. 

The World Bank disclosed this in its report titled, ‘Of Roads Less Travelled: Assessing the Potential for Migration to Provide Overseas Jobs for Nigeria’s Youth’, published on its website this week.  

The report revealed that between 2014 and 2020, Nigeria’s working-age population increased from 102 million to 122 million, growing at an average rate of approximately 3% per year.

What the World Bank is saying

The World Bank stated in the report, “Nigeria is facing one of the most acute jobless crises in recent times. Between 2014 and 2020, Nigeria’s working age population grew from 102 million to 122 million, growing at an average rate of approximately 3 per cent per year.

Similarly, Nigeria’s active labour force population, i.e., those willing and able to work among the working age population, grew from 73 million in 2014 to 90 million in 2018, adding 17.5 million new entrants to Nigeria’s active labour force.

Since 2018, however, the active labour force population has dramatically decreased to around 70 million—lower than the level in 2014—while the number of Nigerians who are in the working-age population but not active in the labour force has increased from 29 million to 52 million between 2014 and 2020.” 

The Washington-based institution added that the expanding working age with scarce employment opportunities is creating high rates of unemployment, particularly for Nigeria’s youth. It also stated that there was a fivefold increase in the unemployment rate between 2010 and 2020, from 6.4% in 2010 to 33.3% in 2020. 

The Bretton wood institution also added that the poor combination of the rising unemployment, booming demographics, and unfulfilled aspirations is increasing the pressure on young Nigerians to migrate in search of gainful employment overseas.

“Unemployment is considered to be a key driver of migration. The number of first-time asylum seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria to Europe peaked in 2016, at the height of the European migration crisis, before subsiding in late-2017 (Figure ES.3). Nigerians represented the largest group of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa to arrive in Europe in 2016 and 2017. Nearly 40,000 Nigerians arrived in Italy in 2016 with over 90 percent arriving via sea routes,” it said.

The report urged that by expanding legal pathways for migration and implementing supporting measures to reap dividends from current migrants in the diaspora, Nigeria can further benefit from international migration. 

“Nigeria’s institutions are well-placed to promote managed migration approaches that help create opportunities for prospective Nigerian jobseekers to find employment internationally and can be supported to help design schemes that increases the returns to human capital investments for Nigerian youth,” it said.

“One consequence of inaction to the rising migratory pressure has been the increase in irregular migration to Europe which has resulted in Nigerian migrants facing not only higher economic costs but also physical and psychological abuse along the transit corridors in Niger and Libya,” it warned. 

The Bank urged that reducing the cost of sending remittances to Nigerian households provides more resources for them to invest in their households and in the economy, citing that the cost of sending international remittances to Nigeria from Africa, Europe, and North America is well above the SDG 17.3 target of 3 percent. 

“Reducing the cost of sending remittances to Nigeria directly benefits Nigerian households as it provides more resources for them to invest in their households and in the economy,” it stated.

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Building learning culture is difficult when the environment is not conducive – Nestle Nigeria

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Building a learning culture in early childhood is difficult when the environment is not conducive.

This was stated by Nestle Nigeria through its Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Mrs. Victoria Uwadoka, on Saturday while commissioning a fully equipped block of 3 classrooms renovated in Salvation Army Primary School 1, Agbara, Ogun state.

According to her, the pupils will now enjoy a more conducive environment with the commissioning of the block, as this is part of a project comprising 2 blocks of 5 classrooms and a crèche.

She said, “Building a learning culture in early childhood is difficult when the environment is not conducive. This is why we are committed to improving facilities in the schools closest to our operations. Strong in the belief that access to quality education increases opportunities for a better quality of life, Nestlé Nigeria has invested in enhancing infrastructure in public schools, reaching over 4,000 children in Ogun State and Abaji in the FCT in the past 3 years alone.

“The company achieves its objective of building thriving communities in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Boards to support government’s efforts to reposition the education sector for improved performance.”

This fact was appreciated by the Executive Secretary of the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Olalekan Kuye who said, “I specially commend Nestlé Nigeria PLC for this laudable intervention which complements our collective drive to further improve the state of our learning environment. These projects are also unique and in accordance with recommended standards.

“I charge the school, management committee and community development association and our esteemed learners to judiciously utilize and ensure that the buildings are well secured and preserved for continuous use.”

In his comments at the project handover ceremony, the Alagbara of Agbara, HRM Oba Lukman Jayeola Agunbiade said, “I am delighted that the commissioning of the classroom blocks renovated by Nestlé Nigeria is taking place during the celebration of my 5th year in office as the Alagbara of the illustrious Agbara community.

“I sincerely appreciate Nestlé for remaining a responsible member of this community, and for investing in improving teaching and learning facilities in Salvation Army Primary School among others. I am therefore pleased to receive this project on behalf of my people.”

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The future lies in a knowledge-based economy – Sanusi

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A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi, has said that Nigeria’s future lies in a knowledge-based economy.

This, he disclosed at the closing ceremony of the Kaduna Investment Summit, tagged KadInvest 6.0, according to Daily Trust.

What the former CBN governor said

Sanusi said the future lies in a knowledge-based economy, adding that Nigeria is behind many African countries in innovation index.

“Only eight of every 100 Nigerians who start primary school complete university.

“Globally, work is being redefined; 30 to 40 per cent of workers in developed economies will need to significantly upgrade their skills by 2030. And what are the major drivers of this redefinition? ICT and remote working, which we have seen even here with COVID-19.

“There is increased automation and artificial intelligence. Very soon, robot will take over work in most countries and those who would have job are those who operate the robots, manufacture the robots or service the robots.”

He stated that Nigeria can not continue depending on revenue from oil as the world economy is slowing moving away from oil into alternative energy sources.

“A few months ago, Germany was able to produce enough renewable energy for the entire country’s need. Today, we are having difficulties selling Nigerian oil. So, not only are we having problems producing, even when we produce, the market is not there.

“So, this is forcing a change, and for us a country that depends on oil, things need to change.”

He, however, stressed the need for skill creation for the young people which will create enabling environment for economic growth and development.

“Data is one of the most crucial support that can be given to entrepreneurs for innovation,” he said.

While calling on government to encourage market access, he said, “If Kaduna state government continues with its e-government plan, it will be a big market itself and it will encourage investment which are all knowledge economy aspiration and a shift in government spending to match the priority.”

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Nigeria Railway: FG leveraging alternatives to fund railway development – Amaechi

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The Federal Government through the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that it is leveraging alternative funding mechanisms to rehabilitate old rail lines and modernise the rail system in line with its 25-year strategic vision.

The Minister disclosed this at the 2021 annual public lecture organised by the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, themed “Nigeria’s National Rail Transport Project,” reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said the FG recovered most of the failed locations on the Narrow Gauge corridor and is also taking precautions in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the standard gauge corridors. He stated that the establishment of rail projects was aimed at reducing the cost of transportation and boosting the economy; since economic activities drive development in any country.

He also added that all the regions in the country would have been connected with rail transportation but for lack of sustainable funding plan, environmental issues, degenerated infrastructure, theft of railway materials and obsolete legal framework.

“The railway project is affected by decline of requisite railway professionals, indiscriminate disposal of refuse on railway right of way by citizens among others,” he said.

The minister urged community leaders and civil society organisations to join in the fight against vandalisation of railway infrastructure across the country.

Unilag Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said when transport systems are efficient, they provide economic and social opportunities and benefits that result in positive multiplier effects such as better access to markets, employment, and additional investments.

“Availability of railway also plays an important role in reducing regional disparities and improving the competitiveness of regions, by facilitating trade, movement of labour, and economies of scale.

“In a vast country like ours, where the population are not only scattered all over the country but are also separated by desert, forest, valley and mountains, efficient, reliable, and cheap means of transportation like modern railway networks are essential,” Ogundipe said.

What you should know

Recall that it was reported in July that the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that the Federal Government has committed the sum of $280 million for the $1.2 billion Kaduna-Kano rail project which is set to begin this month.

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