THE GROWTH OF THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY AND THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 1996 - 2010
ADEOTI, JULIUS OLAKUNLE
EMMANUEL ALAYANDE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, OYO.
BEING A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE 4TH ANNUAL NATIONAL
CONFERENCE OF THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES,
ADEYEMI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ONDO, ONDO STATE
23RD – 26TH APRIL, 2012.
VENUE: OLUSEGUN OBASANJO AUDITORIUM, ADEYEMI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ONDO, ONDO STATE
THEME: SOCIO-POLITICAL CONFLICTS AND
CHALLENGES OF DEMOCRATIC
CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA.
Unemployment in Nigeria has assumed a crisis dimension. Conflicting and arguably controversial views existed on its official statistics. The economy has been growing in recent years, unemployment too is marginally on the rise, and this is a paradox. Using a time series data from 1996 to 2010 and an econometric analysis, this study analyses the issues surrounding this paradox, examines the trends of unemployment growth and addresses the various challenges posed by this subject to the economy. The results shows that variables such as quality of education (technical, vocational and entrepreneurial), decaying and failing economic infrastructure, increasing population and capacity utilization bear positive and significant relationship with unemployment rate in the country. Empirical evidence further shows a growing trend in unemployment rate that is not likely to abate and that growth in the economy is related to the performance in the oil sector which only account for a fractional percentage of employment in the country. On these bases, recommendations were made that a constructive policy reform in the education sector is urgently needed to stem the current tide of “paper qualification education” for quality vocational, technical and entrepreneurial education. Adequate and sustainable policy measures must be implemented in other non-oil sectors of the economy to produce needed capacity for massive employment. Government should also checkmate the astronomical growth in population and streamline the inflation rate to the level desirable for employment generation in the country.
The Nigerian Economy is dominated by Agriculture. Over 60 % of the population is engaged in this sector with an average of 41% contribution to the GDP (NBS, 2010). Despite the dominance of Agriculture, the Crude Petroleum sub sector contributes over 80 % of Nigeria’s foreign exchange. The manufacturing sector’s contribution to the economy is minimal with an average of 3%. Also the communication sector has witnessed a tremendous growth in recent times with an average contribution of 5.5 % (NBS, 2010). According to Ibrahim (2011), the performance of the economy in the second quarter of 2011, was somewhat mixed, with some parameters struggling to gain momentum while others consolidated earlier gains. He noted that, the quarter ended for instance, with inflation inches away from the single digit target. GDP on the other hand grew with no trace of a slowdown, while naira lost some stability against other major currencies. Economic growth and development for the country was dependent on a number of factors, especially for an economy like Nigeria which had witnessed various levels of decline in growth of some sectors. The Federal Government (FG) has continued to make policies aimed at reviving the ailing economy. It embarked on reforms in sectors like telecommunications, oil & gas, aviation, banking & insurance and water transportation. This coupled with rebalancing of the economy toward services and domestic market development would lead to proportionate boost in the Gross Domestic Product (NBS, 2010). In 2010, the dominance of political activities and discourse as a prelude to the April 2011 general elections had affected the level of economic activities in various...
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