Sanusi: Unemployment Rate in Nigeria Doubled over Past 5 Years


Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has disclosed that while the Nigerian economy grew at the rate of seven per cent for the past five years, unemployment has actually doubled at same period.
Sanusi also said the current security upheaval and internal insurrection all over the country were as a result of severe poverty and rising unemployment, especially in the north.
He stated this yesterday while speaking at the Annual Lecture/Dinner and Awards Night organised by the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, Abuja Branch.
The CBN governor noted that the present development and economic reality in Nigeria, where unemployment is widening at a time of economic growth, is an aberration.
He said: “According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); unemployment rate in 2011 is 29.3 per cent. This means that unemployment has doubled since last five years. Unemployment in Yobe is 60.6 per cent, Kano is 67 per cent and that is why when you go to Kano you will see a sea of people without work. We must make sure we did not begin to see our demography as a curse.
“There is a serious problem when a country is growing at seven per cent and yet could not provide jobs for its citizens. It is like a broken record; a country that produces oil yet imports refined fuel, a country that is in the tomato belt and yet imports tomatoes.”
Sanusi said government needed to rethink and restructure the economic system of the country by creating the enabling  environment that encourages industrialisation.

He added that jobs would only be created by establishing industries that rely on little technology but high in productivity similar to the ones adopted by the Chinese and Asian Tigers.

“The economic problem of Nigeria can only be reduced to one word-value chain. In every sector of the economy, the value chain is broken,” he said.
He added: “I have never understood what the government meant when they talk about job creation as a policy. The only way you (government) can create jobs is by removing all the impediments and just focus on building the enabling infrastructures like power...
“It is only by creating industries that we will create jobs because when you have most of your work force (70 per cent in agriculture) outside manufacturing, you have a problem. We have a serious problem.
We need to move from primary to secondary production and build industries that rely on little technology but high in productivity. We are not talking of using computer to manufacture air planes but tomatoes manufacturing companies.”
The CBN boss then made it clear that unless the nagging issue of unemployment is addressed with poverty reduced, the country may still find itself embroiled in social upheavals like Boko Haram.
“The Social unrest and upheaval we currently have in this country is tied to poverty. Whether it is tied to religion or ethnicity, the bottom line is that once a society is able to provide jobs and social safety nets, its people will receive tools for other means of wealth creation”, he explained.
“Unemployment cannot be solved by this tokenism of collecting CVs and employing five or 10 people but through structural adjustment”, he posited.
He also called on the country to rethink in the quality of graduates and its labour force, which he said is the only difference between Nigeria and growing economies like China and India.
“China took away industries from us because of the quality of labour.  So do not think of China as angel who has come to rescue us from the West but as competitors, and where we have failed against them is in the quality of our labour force.

1 comment

  1. I don't seem to understand Mr. Sanusi again oh... This one pass me

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