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Nigeria Grapples with Alarming Unemployment Surge, Leading Global Rates at 33.3%

Nigeria has secured the top position among nations grappling with the highest unemployment rates, as per recent data published by the World of Statistics. The country’s unemployment rate stands at a staggering 33.3%, marking a distressing trend that has led to grave economic and social concerns.

Following closely behind Nigeria are South Africa, with a 32.9% unemployment rate, and Iran at 15.55%. Conversely, countries like Qatar, Cambodia, and Niger showcase significantly lower unemployment rates, recording 0.1%, 0.36%, and 0.5%, respectively.

This dire situation was mirrored by domestic statistics. The National Bureau of Statistics reported an unemployment surge to 33.3% in Nigeria during the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 27.1% in the second quarter of the same year.

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A more recent study by multinational consulting firm KPMG has raised further alarms, projecting a rise in Nigeria’s unemployment rate to 37.7% in 2022 and an even higher 40.6% due to the consistent influx of job seekers into the market. The sluggish economic growth and inability to absorb the influx of 4-5 million new entrants annually contribute to the mounting challenge.

In response to the concerning statistics, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an advocate for transparent fiscal policies and evidence-based governance, called upon the National Bureau of Statistics to promptly compile and release updated unemployment data for the country. Despite the Bureau’s intention to release new figures by May 2023, the awaited report is yet to be disclosed, eliciting concerns about accountability and transparency.

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Nigeria’s escalating unemployment crisis has triggered widespread apprehension, necessitating comprehensive and targeted policy interventions to address the widening gap and provide opportunities for the country’s growing labor force.

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