The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Nigeria needs to absorb the projected 54 million new entrants in the labour force by creating 5 million jobs annually for the next 10 years.
The IMF in a report on Monday said the move will help cover the country’s unemployment gap.
The Fund also urged Nugeria to embrace more open trade and good policies to rejuvenate growth.
The country’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, increasing from 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
And over a decade, Nigeria’s unemployment rate has continued to rise, with the latest being attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nigeria will need to create at least 5 million new jobs each year compared to nearly 2 million job losses each year on average in the last five years,” the IMF said in its Article IV report on Nigeria.
The Fund welcomed the idea of higher growth relying more on labour-intensive manufacturing, light manufacturing and agro-processing.
It proposed that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) be used to tackle unemployment.
“The recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) holds huge prospects for job-rich growth through regional trade and economic integration,” the report said.
“Keeping borders open, while stepping up measures to address security concerns including smuggling, is not only critical to ensuring the flow of goods and services that enables price stability and growth but is expected to have a positive signaling effect on the business environment in Nigeria,” the IMF said.
“Implementing trade enabling reforms, such as speeding up customs clearing time, and removing regulatory bottlenecks, are key to improving Nigeria’s international competitiveness.”
By Abel Ejikeme