February 05, 2019

Youth unemployment—a hot topic in the upcoming Nigerian elections

Youth unemployment—a hot topic in the upcoming Nigerian elections

According to some Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari is to be blamed as earnings go down and joblessness grows in the country.

In his article, Why is youth unemployment so high and different across countries?, IZA World of Labor contributor Francesco Pastore says that: “Young people, in nearly every country, experience worse labor market outcomes than adults. However, there are striking differences across countries, with some performing much better than others. The reason behind the worldwide youth disadvantage can be traced back to their lower than average human capital."

On February 16, Mr Buhari will be running against former vice-president Atiku Abubakar whose campaign slogan “Let’s Get Nigeria Working Again” resonates with the part of the population which only a few years ago earned at least five times as much as they do today. Mr Buhari’s record on jobs is also one of his greatest vulnerabilities. According to the most recent data, since he took office in 2015, the unemployment rate has risen from 8.2% to 23.1%. When it comes to young people, 55.4% of those aged 15–35 are unemployed or underemployed.

Promoting apprenticeship programs, vocational training, and entrepreneurship in an effort to reduce unemployment are a few of the tactics both Mr Buhari and Mr Abubakar have mentioned.

That being said, according to Nonso Obikli, director at the Turgot Centre for Economics and Policy Research, “the systematic problems behind unemployment” have not been tackled by either candidate.

Read more articles on youth unemployment and apprenticeships and training.