A third of Nigerians are unemployed: Here’s why

Ndubisi Nwokoma

Down To Earth | April 29, 2021

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics recently published the country’s unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting a continued deterioration during the COVID-19 year. The unemployment rate for this period stood at 33.3 per cent. Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, from The Conversation Africa, asked Ndubisi Nwokoma, an economics professor, to provide the context. 

How is unemployment measured?

Unemployment is when people are ready, able and willing to work, but do not find work. By the International Labour Organisation definition, a person is employed when they work at least 40 hours a week. The working age is regarded as between 15 and 60. Currently, 33.3 per cent or 23.2 million of the about 70 million people who should be working in Nigeria are out of work. An acceptable level of unemployment would be 4 per cent-6 per cent.Read More »

Can Nigeria contain the COVID-19 outbreak using lessons from recent epidemics?

by and

The Lancet |  March 11, 2020

News broke on Feb 27, 2020, that an Italian citizen was Nigeria’s first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The individual had landed at Lagos airport 2 days earlier on a flight from northern Italy, and had subsequently travelled from Lagos to Ogun State, western Nigeria, where he became ill and was promptly isolated. He is currently being treated for mild symptoms of COVID-19 in a hospital in Lagos. Upon identifying the index case, National Emergency Operations Centres were immediately activated to trace his contacts. By March 9, 2020, 27 suspected cases had been identified across five states (Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Federal Capital Territory, and Kano), of which two were confirmed to be positive (ie, the index case and a contact), with no deaths.

216 contacts were linked to the index case, 136 of whom are being followed up.

Similar to COVID-19, the Ebola epidemic of 2014 was imported through Lagos airport. Within weeks, 19 people were diagnosed with Ebola across two states of Nigeria—Lagos and Rivers State—of whom eight died of Ebola.

The dense population of Lagos, its overstrained infrastructure, and the fact that it is a major regional transit hub for air, land, and sea transport created the perfect conditions for the spread of Ebola. Nevertheless, Nigeria’s aggressive and coordinated response successfully controlled the Ebola epidemic.

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When the British return, things will be all jolly again in Nigeria


Photo: Hindustan Times

It has been over 57 years since the Union Jack went down in Nigeria. However, the indigenous leaders, who replaced the British colonial “masters” have yet to pass muster, prompting average Nigerians, to nostalgically cry out whimsically for a return to colonial times, when things supposedly worked. And now with a lady of African ancestry joining the royal family on 19 May 2018, the plebs may be on to something.

Since 27 November 2017, social media and the Black diaspora have been agog with the official announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement to the stunning American divorcee, actress Meghan Markle – whose mother is an African American, who wore her Afro with pride as a young woman. Wait a minute, we know how infamously taboo divorce is in the exclusive clique of the royal family. The rocking and charming, flame-haired Prince Harry, whom we all love, like the Black man, Barack Obama, the 44th US President, is from a “broken-marriage” too. The late Princess of Wales had an acrimonious and controversial divorce from Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the throne of England – and of course, he is Prince Harry’s daddy.Read More »

Unknown soldier: The inglorious Nigerian generals

by Olurotimi Osha

Pambazuka News | April 13, 2018

Herald Nigeria

The sting in the comments by erstwhile British Prime Minister, David Cameron, describing Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” will linger for a long time. Perhaps what makes the animadversion more jarring was that it was made within hearing distance of Nigeria’s supposed incorruptible leader, President Buhari. The throng of hierophants eager to define Nigeria’s identity before its youth can shape their own destiny, capitalised on the nation’s perceived weakness. Nigeria was described as a nation of huts (Donald Trump) and unflatteringly categorised under sh*thole countries (Donald Trump).

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Lucrative politics, poverty and democracy in Nigeria

by Wole Olubanji

Pambazuka News | March 22, 2018

The political establishment appears to be working against the interests and aspirations of the majority of Nigerian people. Especially since the previous economic recession started, almost every policy of government has had the counter-effect of aggravating the burden of the people – from the deregulation of the naira, to paying a ransom for the release of the young ladies kidnapped by Boko Haram. 

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The huge scam that was Nigeria’s oil subsidy

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The Nigerian socialist movement and the imperative of revolutionary organisation

by Osaze Lanre Nosaze

Pambazuka News | June 15, 2017

Recognising the structural basis of the organisational failure of the socialist movement is necessary for arriving at a correct conception of the organisational challenge confronting the movement. Explaining this failure by the contingent factors commonly adduced, it is only possible to arrive at a structuralist and mechanistic conception of the challenge. Only by recognising the structural character of the failure is it possible to realise that the challenge before the movement is to transform itself into an organic element and instrument in the struggle of the oppressed.

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Privatisations Will Spark ‘Civil Unrest,’ Say Labour Leaders

Morning Star | 27 September, 2016

NIGERIAN trade unions warned President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday of “mass revolt and civil unrest” if he goes ahead with planned privatisations.
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the Nigeria Labour Congress and oil and gas unions Nupeng and Pengassan said they were ready to shut down the country over the planned sale, the Naij news agency reported.
Budget and Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma insisted the government would not sell critical national assets to shore up its foreign reserves in the face of recession.Read More »

Nigeria: Catastrophic Malnutrition in Borno State

Doctors Without Borders  | 27 July, 2016


GENEVA/NEW YORK – A major humanitarian operation is needed to save lives in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state, where more than 500,000 people are living in catastrophic conditions in villages and towns affected by the conflict between the military and Boko Haram, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today, after finding extremely high levels of malnutrition in another town where MSF teams recently gained access.

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In Oil-Soaked Niger Delta, ‘Avengers’ Bombing Pipelines in Struggle for Compensation

by Andrea Germanos

Common Dreams | 27 May, 2016


Photo from 2010 shows damage following oil disaster in of Niger Delta. (Photo: Sosialistisk Ungdom (SU)/flickr/cc)


In the oil-rich Niger delta, where communities suffer “enormous” effects from decades of spills, a militant group claiming responsibility for a spate of attacks on oil infrastructure now appears to have the backing of some community members.Read More »