The Nigerian Unemployment Challenge

Nigeria’s unemployment rate is spiraling upwards, growing at 16% per year. The youth of the nation are the most impacted, with a youth unemployment rate over 50%.

Nigeria’s Spiraling Youth Unemployment

Spiraling General Unemployment Rate Growing at 16% per year*


Youth Unemployment 3X General Unemployment**

*Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics ** Nigeria Ministry of Education, World Bank


  • Nigeria’s spiraling youth unemployment has been a significant contributor to the dramatic rise in social unrest and crime e.g. Niger Delta militancy, Boko Haram, Jos Crisis etc.
  • If young people are provided with employment opportunities they can become productive assets and take their part in mainstream society offering the best of their skills and talents.
  • Why are the youth of Africa unemployed in such high numbers?

I. High fertility rates – it is estimated that there are between 8- 10 million new entrants into the African labor market annually

II. Low literacy and numeracy rates – Africa has the worst education outcomes of

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any continent.

III. Investment in Africa remains low despite significant investment opportunities.

IV. There are information failures and a lack of targeted investments in key labor intensive areas.