11 Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria and Solutions

Causes, Effects and Solution To Unemployment In Nigeria

causes of unemployment in Nigeria
Unemployment in Nigeria

Causes, Effects, Solution and Rate of Unemployment in Nigeria
The causes of unemployment are practically what happen in all sectors.

When considering the causes of unemployment we look at the economic condition and demography of the country.  Developed countries also encountered this problem of unemployment during the early stage of their development.

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There are major and minor causes of unemployment. But in this article I will be discussing the major causes of unemployment in Nigeria alongside the minor causes.

 Unemployment is a major barrier to fresh graduates and job seekers. I can cowardly say the government aren’t doing anything to calm the situation and resolve the issue.

Read also: Causes of Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria

This is a national crisis and a cause for alarm. (Mind you I never said natural crisis).

Every year Nigeria universities produce thousands of graduates but could only offer hundreds of jobs to the graduates.

A friend of mine who happened to be the best graduating student in his department told about the unappealing first-hand experience he had with his School.

The School publicly promised to award him a job, but till date he hasn’t been given a single job neither has he received the monetary award the school publicly announced.

The unemployment is eating up our country faster than imagined and needs utmost attention of every class of citizens.
I haven’t forgotten why we are here: but it would be wrong of me to neglect other vital information that relate to this topic. So in this topic I will be giving answers to the following search queries:

a)    Causes of unemployment in Nigeria
b)    Effects of Unemployment  in Nigeria
c)    Solution to Unemployment in Nigeria
d)    Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria PDF
e)    Types of Unemployment
f)    Meaning of Unemployment
g)    Unemployment rate in Nigeria

Let’s dive in

Types of Unemployment

Frictional unemployment

This is when employees leave their job to find a better one. It is as a result of dissatisfaction, disguise unemployment. So, what’s my point?
Disguise unemployment: this is when an employee works in a field outside his/her area of expertise.

For example, assuming a certified Engineer who is unable to secure job opt in for a waiter job in a hotel due to the bills, daily upkeep pulling his leg. This is what we call disguise unemployment.

Structural Unemployment

This is when worker’s skills or income requirements no longer match the jobs available resulting to redundancy.
So what are the causes of this economic disease?

Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria

1.    Over-population

It’s nothing strange; you agree with me that Nigeria is over-populated, right? Ok, how does this fit in? Nigeria population is 190 million.

Job opportunities are less than 5000(being euphemistic). This friendly figure means, for every vacant position, there are hundreds of thousands of people competing for it.

Over population has led to fewer job opportunities: with rural-urban migration there’s increase in unemployment in the city.

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2.    Poor Supply of Electricity as a cause of unemployment

Entrepreneur says “Punctuality is the sole of business” quote me “Electricity is the fuel of business”.

Nigeria lacks power supply, making a lot of entrepreneurs handicapped and dependent on others to make ends meet. Without power supply, entrepreneurs are handicapped unable to venture into self-business.

This is the large golf between developed and developing countries. Nigeria has failed to provide electricity for the people making indigenous youth dependent. Many local companies which could not cope with the high cost of running electricity plants/generator were forced to fold up and have thrown it workers back to the labour market.

3.    Ignorance as a cause of Unemployment

This is a disease infecting job seekers. Here’s what I mean.
It’s true that there are fewer jobs in Nigeria, but once in a blue moon few job opportunities pops up on the radar screen of some companies. Some suitable job seekers are ignorant of such opportunity making the golden opportunity slip off.
Lack of awareness is a problem to many job seekers: as they fail to understand why they need to be updated about latest/recent job opportunities.
Hi there, don’t make that mistake.

4.    Importation of goods

Nigeria import food stuffs, equipment, machineries that can be produced in Nigeria.
Let’s make this friendly to students who need an essay on this topic.

So what’s Importation?

Importation is simply the process of buying goods from foreign countries and bringing it to our country (Nigeria).
Note: this is a lay man’s definition in order to aid our reading

Now let’s me analyse how it contributes to unemployment. To be factual, Nigeria imports rice, petrol, etc. which can be manufactured in Nigeria because of our fertile land and abundance of crude oil in Nigeria.
How does this fit in?

Producing these goods and services in Nigeria, we need labour; resulting in increase in job opportunities. If Nigeria refines petrol, thousands of job opportunities will be created. Nevertheless, cost of living will be cheaper.

Read also: Updated Nigeria Current Affairs

But, Job seekers also contribute to this unappealing crisis.
You can’t blame the government not until you read this:

5.    Apathy for Agriculture

Apathy is the lack of interest in something.

Many youths don’t want to do anything stressful but want to live an easy life and work in an office where they can be paid one million naira per month. Job seekers neglect the importance of agriculture and it great ability to pull in wealth: they seek white collar job to no avail gives them nothing.

Agriculture is a sector neglected by fresh graduates and job seekers. They detest the picture of working in a farm, rearing animals and growing crops.

It’s quite pleasing to hear that few graduates have grown interest in Agricultural sector. Take my word; you can amass wealth by going into farming.

6.    Poverty

Some graduates are clever and filled with business ideas but are not are not able to implement them because they funds and capitals needed.
Some job seekers are with little or no money. How do you expect them to contribute to the community or implement their ideas? Poverty can only be eradicated if the government do the right thing.
So, what’s the wrong thing they are doing?
A good question to ask; If you are a fan of politics and news, you would be familiar with the wounds Nigeria government is giving to her people.
I can’t continue listing the causes of unemployment without giving honour to this miserable friend of our government: Corruption.

7.    Corruption

This is something you’re expecting in this list, right? Anyway I also couldn’t resist corruption from being on the list because everything listed on this list directly or indirectly fall back to corruption.

Corruption is the bane of development in Nigeria. Nigeria is said to be the 8th most corrupt country in the world. Whoa, we’ve something we rank for.

Nigeria has taken a turn that is difficult back out, public funds which are supposed to be used for creation of job opportunities are being used personal for selfish reasons.

Corruption is now a normal routine: work functions to be carried out by four or five persons are carried out by one or two persons. And the salaries for four or five persons are paid to one or two persons.

Have you heard of ghost workers? This is where names  of non-existent workers are added to the pay roll list and corrupt bosses collect such salaries at the end of the month. It also circles bribery.

8.    Lack of Infrastructures

Infrastructures including: ware house, market, good road, electricity etc. is a threat to producers/manufacturers. The inability of government to provide market for manufactured goods put the producers and entrepreneurs at risk of losing their capital to the whirl wind of destruction.
    In the same vein, lack good road makes transportation of goods costly and difficult. All these considered by entrepreneurs discourage them.

9.    Lack of Investors

Lack of Investors is also part of the causes of unemployment in Nigeria. You are wondering how?
Investors are entrepreneurs who invest into other people’s business ideas to make it a reality and a successful one.

    Investors consider several things before investing into your business ranging from location, environment, labour, business report, including the economics of the country.

No investors will be willing to invest in a corrupt country where corrupt people will swallow their capital and blame a monkey or a snake. LoL.

 It’s obvious of how Nigeria as a country is hostile to potential investors.

10.    Lack of Quality Education

The point listed on “causes of unemployment” are not listed in a certain order but are listed randomly. If it’s by significance, lack of quality education will certainly make it to the top four.
So, how does cause unemployment in Nigeria?

Many graduates come out from Universities and colleges of education with little or nothing to contribute to the society. What do I mean?

Lack of facilities and poor lecturers render poor service to the Undergraduates making them unable to defend their certificates. Universities in Nigeria are known for their theoretical teachings and sermons.

11.    Tribalism and Nepotism

Nepotism!!! This is very common in Nigeria; in one word, it happens in all sectors in Nigeria and government levels from the federal to the local. If you haven’t heard of nepotism: you will be wondering; what’s nepotism?

Nepotism is the act of giving unfair advantages to people you know (relatives, clients) if you are in a position of power, especially giving them jobs.

Tribalism is also the act of discriminating people from other tribes and favouring your tribe’s men. This happens even in the Universities and Polytechnic where admission quota now belongs to indigenes.

12.    Security

This is one of the major causes of business shut down. In any entrepreneur’s plan, security is of essence to them. Many local business men have been thrown into abject poverty, because of the absence of security.
Banks lose a lot of money to cyber-crime; reducing their profit and making them unable to maintain their staffs.
 When discussing the causes of unemployment in Nigeria, we can’t but add this to the list because Nigeria is a victim of insecurity.

Effects of Unemployment in Nigeria

Yes!     I have made a point to the effects and solution to unemployment in Nigeria. As stated above about the importance of security to our country and how it affects some sectors:     I can’t but add:
  • Increase in crime rate

An Idle man is devil’s workshop. On my Facebook page, I wrote a short poem on money and how dangerous it could be. Unemployment makes youth and even elderly ones to resort to illegal ways of making money.
Lack of money makes people murder others just for money. (That’s for another day).
  • It worsens the country’s economic condition

So what’s the solution?


The solutions to unemployment are combinations of the remedies of the causes of unemployment in Nigeria.

1.    Tighten the security
2.    Provision of Infrastructures such as good roads, ware house, market.
3.    Improving the standard off education in Nigeria
4.    Provision of electricity
5.    Encouraging Farming and mechanized farming
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