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Major Causes of Unemployment In Nigeria

Unemployment is one of the major issues affecting Nigeria’s economy and its society. The rate of unemployment has increased during last few years due the fallout from the economic challenges. Nigeria, which is the biggest black nation in the world, ought to have a very strong economy capable of employing almost all employable citizens. Although unemployment varies from cyclical, structural, residual, frictional and technological. However, there are a number of factors responsible for the prevalence of unemployment in Nigeria. Some of these are discussed below;

High and Rapid Population Growth

One of the major factors responsible for the high level of unemployment in Nigeria is the rapid growth in population. There has been an increase in the growth of the labor forces along with the inadequate supply of jobs. The rapid population growth has been coupled with rural-urban migration. This has increased the population in cities thereby raising the level of joblessness.

Poor Standard of Education

The standard of education is really low in Nigeria. Gone are the days where Nigerian graduates could effectively compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world. Every year, many graduates come out from the universities and colleges of education in Nigeria with little or nothing to contribute to the society. The reason is because there are little facilities and ill-equipped lecturers/instructors who rendered poor services to the graduates when they were in their institutions.

Epileptic Electric Power Supply

Lack of regular electric power supply is the biggest cause of unemployment in Nigeria. For the average Nigerian youth that wants to venture into entrepreneurship, constant source of power supply is essential for most businesses. Many foreign companies that would have come to invest in this country and which would have provided many employment opportunities to Nigerians to reduced unemployment, have changed direction to other neighbouring countries with constant electricity supply in order to avoid operating costs resulting from running of generators (which) is now becoming the tradition in Nigeria. The current situation of little or no power supply is also detrimental to the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), hence such businesses fold up and unemployment sets in.

Lack Of Employable skill

Most of Nigerian youths have disdained acquisition of skills, thinking that the time spent on such is wasted, and opting for so-called ‘clean-shirt’ and ‘easy’ ways of making money. With such mentality, these youths have grown into middle-age and even senior age without any skill to fall back on, thus becoming liabilities to themselves and others. Many graduates do not think it essential to empower themselves with skills that would further enhance their chances of getting a job. Skills such as ICT, PMP, HSE and the likes are usually overlooked. The ones who eventually acquire such skills stand a higher chance of getting employed.

Negligence of Agriculture and Other Natural Resources

Nigeria, as a country, is blessed with many under-utilized resources which are enough to gainfully engage every unemployed person. Many see agriculture as a ‘dirty’ job with little or no returns. Hence they abandon agriculture preferring to remain jobless. Also, the craze for quick ‘oil money’ has made both government and individuals to direct all attention to only the oil industry.


The high level of embezzlement, fraud and the likes by people in public office is also responsible for the rising level of employment. Government cannot provide amenities to facilitate job creation due to inadequate funds. Corruption is a cause of unemployment Nigeria because when those in government who are to use public money for building more industries are busy embezzling the funds for their selfish use, the result is massive increase in unemployment rate. When corruption and greed is taken as normal routine, functions which are to be performed by three or even four persons are taken up by only one person and that one person collects all the salaries meant for the three or four persons.


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Written by PH


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