Present evidence of 1.6 million jobs created, Nigeria’s unemployed youth tell Okonjo-Iweala

Feb. 15, 2014


Unemployed youth say what is evidential is a spate of unemployment.

A body of unemployed graduates & other youth in Nigeria has requested for information on the alleged 1.6 million jobs created in 2013.

The Adebisi Thomas Adewole Foundation, ATA Foundation, an avenue through which unemployed graduates and other unemployed youth of Nigeria demand for their rights, aired their grievances and desires in a letter to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy.

Citing the Freedom of Information , FOI, law, they requested for evidence on the existence of these created jobs.

“In 2013 as reported by the Nigerian Tribune on 17th of September, 2013, the World Bank put the unemployment rate in Nigeria at 22 per cent and the youth unemployment rate at 38 per cent. The Team Leader and representative of World Bank Country representative, Professor Foluso Okunmadewa, made this disclosure at the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) organised by Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P), in Abuja,” the foundation said, in the letter signed by Adebisi Adewole, the Chairman of the foundation.

Citing update on the state of unemployment in the country as drawn from the National Planning Commission presentation and the divergence in the ‘official’ reports on jobs created, the foundation said that unemployment rate in Nigeria worsened under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“This conclusion was drawn after the National Planning Commission presented the 2011 Performance Monitoring Report on Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Abuja on 3rd of October, 2013. The report indicated that the unemployment rate in Nigeria in 2010 was 21.1 per cent, a figure that increased to 23.9 per cent in 2011,” the group said.

ATA Foundation said that the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, quoted the report as stating that, “In 2011, Nigeria’s unemployment rose to 23.9 per cent compared with 21.1 per cent in 2010,” and that the report referenced its facts from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

“ThisDay on and the Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper both related on December 18, 2013 that the National Bureau of Statistics said that 54 per cent of Nigerian Youths were unemployed in 2012. This was contained in a report issued in Abuja by NBS in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Youths Development in December of 2013″, it added.

Many other reports by national, regional, and global bodies have also corroborated the rising unemployment rate in the country despite the initiation of SURE-P, YOUWIN, and other such programmes to create employment for millions of Nigerians particularly the youth by the Federal Government.

“During an interactive session with Private sector in December, 2013, The Punch Newspapers related on December 30, 2013 that during your presentation, you disclosed that a total of 1.6 million jobs were created in 2013. ThisDay on on January 20, 2014 also gave an account of your reiterating same at the South-East and South-South Professional Forum in January, 2014. At the forum you also said 2 million of such jobs will be created in 2014,” the foundation told Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala.

The ATA Foundation said in accordance with Section 2, 3, 4, of the FOI Act, it wants to know “The number of jobs created in each sector of the economy in 2013, the amount appropriated and expended to create such jobs and the sustainability plan of the jobs after the federal Government has withdrawn its support as the case may be” the foundation said, while also demanding supporting documents.

“We look forward to receiving the required information promptly and, in any event, within 7 days of the receipt of this application as provided for in the Freedom of Information Act, 2011,” the foundation said in its letter.