More than 90 per cent of the workforce in Nigeria operates in an insecure environment, according to the German International Development Agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Citing data from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, GIZ highlighted a concerning level of underemployment in the country.
The team lead for GIZ’s Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) project, Detlef Barth, expressed that the high unemployment and underemployment rates have led to frustration among Nigerian youths, emphasising the prevalence of informal sector employment in potentially unprotected conditions.
Addressing the National Conference on Public Employment Services in Abuja, Barth stressed the importance of adopting sustainable models from successful practices in other regions to tackle labour market challenges.
With nearly two-thirds of Nigeria’s 220 million population under 25, Barth underscored the pivotal role of innovative employment services in addressing the nation’s labour market issues.
“These are not mere numbers but human and social tragedies. Human capital is not utilized, and a generation of frustrated young people might be the consequence.”
However, The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Bako Lalong, also acknowledged challenges in the employment service system and inferior access to labour market information.
Represented by Chris Amadi, he said:
“Addressing Labour Market Challenges through Delivering of Public Employment Services”, underscores the urgency with which government must act to activate active labour market measures both at the federal and state levels for the purpose of productive employment and decent jobs for the teaming youth and job seekers through efficient delivery of public employment services”.
Lalong mentioned ongoing efforts to enhance employment rates in Nigeria, including establishing the National Electronic Labour Exchange (NELEX), an electronic platform aligning with the ILO Convention 88 to facilitate online connections between job seekers and employers.
Our NELEX is intended to be a one-stop-shop that provides advance, comprehensive and integrated technology that allows job seekers, employers and other stakeholders access employment services and labour market information,” he added.