Unemployment rises, government fails to create one million jobs in 2016

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LAGOS, NOVEMBER 9, 2016 – As the number of the unemployed in the country continues to rise due to downsizing in the productive and services’ sectors, the Federal Government may find it difficult to meet its target of creating one million jobs by the end of the year.

Latest indicators have shown that more Nigerians now seek jobs that hitherto never appealed to them just to meet their daily needs. Only 200,000 graduates have been shortlisted out of the 749,000 applications received under the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme, N-Power, which seeks to address unemployment challenges in the country by offering temporary jobs and technical skills to graduates.

Similarly, statistics show that 1,611,438 people applied to fill about 10,500 vacant positions in two government agencies–the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Police. Specifically, 700,000 applicants sought to fill 500 job openings at the FIRS while 911,438 applications were received by the Police Service Commission for 10,000 vacancies .

Although the number of applicants for the latest recruitment by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) into 11 key ministries is yet to be released, investigations byThe Guardian showed that the portal for the online application has become unresponsive due to the number of site visits and potential applications.
The FCSC recently extended application into the civil service to November 13 according to a notice on its official website. The application was billed to end October 31.

The Federal Government had last year’s December promised to create no fewer than one million direct jobs in 2016.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said another one million poor Nigerians would benefit from the first phase of the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme.

However, latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that subsistence and small-holder farmers are on the rise, with over four million Nigerians losing their jobs since 2015, as many have also opted for additional jobs in the informal sector to augment their means of livelihood.

Also, the data stated that a single income may no longer be enough for a family, prompting previously out-of-work housewives to seek employment to support strained income.

Indeed, the statistics reinforced the findings of the latest ‘Household Economy Survey’ by Philips Consulting that the prevailing economic situation in the country had resulted in detrimental effects on the economic security of most citizens and households.

Specifically, the severe drop in crude oil prices, decline in government revenue, devaluation of the naira and surging inflation rates, in addition to the country’s high poverty (70 per cent) and unemployment (13.3 per cent) rates have had a detrimental effect on the economic security of most Nigerians.

The NBS report further showed that many employees have had to contend with lesser incomes while newly employed workers have to cope with jobs not commensurate with their qualifications, just as the government continues to urge many employers of labour not to downsize.

According to the report, the number of under-employed people increased by 392,390 or 2.61 per cent, resulting in increase in the under-employment rate to 19.3 per cent (15. 4million persons) in second quarter of 2016 from 18.3 per cent (13.5 million persons) in the corresponding period of last year.

The situation has become so worrisome that the Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on unemployment with a view to confronting the challenge .

The upper chamber also summoned the Minister of Labour and Productivity to provide insight into government’s roadmap for tackling the shocking unemployment rate with a view to reinforcing the blueprint.
Adopting the motion sponsored by Duro Faseyi (PDP, Ekiti North) titled “Intolerable Upswing of Unemployment in Nigeria”, the Senate directed the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) particularly the security outfits to enlist more Nigerian youths as a measure towards enhancing security around the country and ease unemployment.

The Senate resolved to organise a retreat to look into the unemployment issue in the country.

The Guardian

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