The rate of unemployment in Nigeria has risen from 13.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 to 14.2 per cent in the last quarter, according to recently-released figures from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In a series of tweets on Monday evening, Yemi Kale, Statistician General of the Federation and Head of the NBS, said the number of unemployed people stands at 11.55 million in 2016 fourth quarter, an increase of 0.36 million from 11.19 in the third quarter of 2016.
This is despite the successes so far claimed by the All Progressives Congress-led federal government, especially with regards to the N-Power programme, which is designed to reduce the unemployment rate.
Two hundred thousand Nigerians were engaged through the N-Power scheme in 2016 and the presidency said FG was targeting 350,000 more.
“While we were able to engage 200,000 unemployed graduates last year, we will do 350,000 more this year,” said Laolu Akande, media aide in the office of the vice president.
The NBS boss also revealed that the number of the working-age population in the country rose from 105.02 million in the last quarter of 2015 to 108.05 million in the third quarter of 2016, and then to 108.59 million in the fourth quarter.
Ironically, however, Nigeria’s labour force increased to 81.15 million as of 2016 fourth quarter from 76.96 in the last quarter of 2015 and 80.67 in the third quarter of 2016.
“Nigeria had the 40th highest unemployment rate in the world in q4 2016 and 21st highest in Africa,” Kale tweeted.
“Unemployment is higher in urban areas while underemployment is higher in rural areas in q4 2016. Both Unemployment and underemployment higher for women in q4 2016.”