5 Major Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria

Nigeria, which is the biggest black nation in the world, ought to have a very strong economy capable of employing almost all employable citizens.  But unfortunately, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is alarming, and below are 5 of the causes of unemployment in the country.

1. Epileptic Electric Power Supply

Lack of regular electric power supply is the biggest cause of unemployment in Nigeria. Talking of how lack of electricity has caused unemployment in Nigeria, the matter is multi-faceted.

Many foreign companies that would have come to invest in this country (considering the big marketing vista in Nigeria) and which would have provided many employment opportunities to Nigerians to reduced unemployment, have changed direction to other neighbouring countries with constant electricity supply in order to avoid operating at loss with 24-hours running of generators (which) is now becoming the tradition in Nigeria.

The same problem has affected many local companies which could not cope with the high cost of running electric plants/generators all the time, and were thus forced to fold up and threw their employees into the labour market.

What about self-employed Nigerians like welders and welding-related artisans who require high electric current which only public power or bigger generators can provide?  Many of such ones have been thrown into unemployment as they could not afford bigger generators (in the absence of public power) for their work.

Added to that is the large number of PHCN workers who were recently thrown into unemployment when the company was privatized to reduce expenses for the Federal Government as the company was not able to provide regular electric power to the public.

2. Poor Quality of Education

Every year, many graduates come out from the universities and colleges of education in Nigeria with little or nothing to contribute to the society.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 200,000 alumnae graduate from Nigeria tertiary institutions yearly, but only very little number of them secure jobs after years of their graduation. The reason is because there are little facilities and ill-equipped lecturers/instructors who rendered poor services to the graduates when they were in their institutions.

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And so, the graduates come out of school half-baked, without practical background to make good impact to the society, neither are they able to defend the certificates which they are holding.  The result is that they add to the unemployment level of the country each year.

Lack of Skills

Another problem that is closely related to that of poor quality education, as a cause of unemployment in Nigeria, is of lack of skills.

For many years running, most Nigerian youths have disdained acquisition of skills, thinking that the time spent on such is wasted, and opting for so-called ‘clean-shirt’ and ‘easy’ ways of making money.  With such mentality, these youths have grown into middle-age and even senior age without any skill to fall, thus becoming liabilities to themselves and others.

On the other hand, it is hard to see any person who is full of skills suffering from unemployment. A skillful person can adjust to many situations and environments and at least, feed himself and his household appropriately.

It is therefore, recommended that graduates who studied various fields of engineering — mechanical, electrical/electronics, etc. — should humble themselves to do practical training or apprenticeship in workshops of technicians for practical knowledge.  In that way, such graduates will be fully equipped for employment (by employers or by themselves) and help reduce unemployment in the country.

3. Negligence of Agriculture and Other Natural Resources

Nigeria, as a country, is blessed with many un-utilized resources which are enough to gainfully engage every un-employed person.  But the craze for quick ‘oil money’ has made both government and individuals to direct all attention to only the oil industry.

Those who are older would recall that the Federal Government and the Regional Governments of Nigeria managed the country with agricultural and other natural resources before the ‘oil boom’ (which has now become ‘oil gloom’).

In those days, cocoa production was the mainstay in Western Nigeria (with the famous Cocoa House built from the proceeds); groundnut production was the mainstay in Northern Nigeria with the fame of the ‘Groundnut Pyramids’ back then;  coal from Udi in Enugu, was the mainstay of Eastern Nigeria while rubber and palm oil were the mainstay of Midwestern Nigeria.

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It is hereby recommended that the various governments of Nigeria as well as rich individuals should establish mechanized farms in various parts of the country to absolve many job-seekers.  In the same vein, the Federal Government could compel the various multi-national companies operating in Nigeria, to establish a farm as a way of boosting the economy and engaging more job-seeking Nigerians, to reduce unemployment in the country.

4. Corruption

Corruption can be defined as immoral action which could involve bribery, embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds for personal use. A corrupt government can be said to be a government which makes use of public funds for their (the government officials’) personal and selfish use.

Corruption is a cause of unemployment Nigeria because when those in government who are to use public money for building more industries are busy embezzling the funds for their selfish use, the result is massive increase in unemployment rate.

Without going too far, Nigeria is said to be the 8th most corrupt country in the world and so, has high unemployment rate. The corruption in Nigeria makes government to spend less on the welfare of the citizens of the country.

When corruption is taken as normal routine, functions which are to be performed by three or even four persons are taken up by only one person and that one person collects all the salaries meant for the three or four persons.

In the same vein, we often hear of ‘ghost workers’ in some government establishments where names of imaginary workers are added to pay-rolls and some few corrupt bosses collect such salaries at the end of the month without any work done.  The result of all these immoral acts is increased unemployment for the masses.

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Add a Comment
  1. Abu Johnson(Omadaddy)

    thank you all for this comments and for the Author of this write up I say thank you because I believe this write will help me in writing my project topic: Causes and Effects of unemployment in Nigeria .Using Agege local government of lagos state as a case study .and in addition to this write I think economic ressions and high exchange rate also contributes to unemployment in Nigeria……Thank you

  2. SANI


  3. Andre bikos

    nice write-up for my term paper

  4. Aghedo Friday

    Thanks so much for this piece of work intact I wish the government of the day could have time to go through this and change their minds towards being leaders and not rulers who are egocentric in nature also to stop using mediocrity at the expense of meritocracy Thank you once more

  5. Aterious Ate

    Which to know d solutions to unemployment….

  6. Eluan

    thank you for your wonderful write up…….sir
    i gained a lot from it.

  7. Udo Ufot

    I wish to reference you work but I can’t find the name of the author

    1. Author name is Toriola Abass

  8. MADTMex

    Apt in every way. I personally think in Nigeria’s case corruption is the root of all our evils. We all need to make a commitment to ourselves, to our communities and the country as a whole to fight corruption. We are try to cheat the system and we succeed but the system ends up cheating us even more.

  9. Belle

    Please I’d like to use some statements made here. Thank you.

  10. Belle

    Please I’d like to use some things mentioned here thank you. Wonderful write up.

  11. izzi Jaafaru jibril

    wonderful write up, thank you. but I aks for 5 causes of unemployment and I only got 4.

    ( izzi Jaafaru jibril )

  12. Grace

    Thank you sir, for this well articulated article. I would like to seek permission to use part of your article.

    Thank you.

  13. Michogbo

    nice piece

    1. pauline

      pls sir how does manpower planning contribute to unemployment in nigeria

  14. Higemeh Sunday

    This is a fascinating write. You really got the real message for the authorities and citizens to learn. Thanks a lot

  15. Michael

    nice write up sir.
    and I also wish to obtain due permission to make use of some part of this write for a little article.

  16. Lawrence Owhe

    This are the real 5 major cause of unemployment in Nigeria.

  17. Emmanuella

    Unemployment is a not a good thing, so it needs to be concentrated on.

  18. chidinma

    this is really a wonderful write up”its is really splendid”
    i wish to more about the causes and solution to unemployment in Nigeria to change the nation god help Nigeria amen

  19. flourish

    Very good you were able to articulate every issue concerning unemployment in Nigeria I think our school system should adopt practical means of education and also teaching entrepreneurial skill.

  20. naza

    Nice 1

  21. Pukumah D. M

    Hi….! Sir i,m really impress with these answe.
    Thank u

  22. Oluwakemisola

    Nice write up I’m impressed with this article additional to thing that is causes unemployment in Nigeria one of it is UNCONTROLLABLE BIRTH RATE

  23. Emmanuel

    cool write up

  24. Terry

    great piece of work. i will equally say that over dependence on white collar jobs is one of the causes of unemployment graduates.

  25. adamu

    that is really, pride, proud, poor decision,family assistance, it’s causes of unemployment in Nigeria. apart from government we have (1) lack of electricity (2) poor education (3) insecurity,

  26. Randy

    Nice write up sir, this will realy help me to complete my roject work.


    this is a nice and lovely article. i wish to know more about the causes and solutions to unemployment in nigeria.

  28. geelolly

    Nice write up. just to add… I will debunk the part of the poor quality education. I did I research work on situation of labour in Nigeria and found out that it is not the student that do not want to show anything for their education but the fact that the requirement asked before securing a job is quite discouraging: the unrealistic age, unrealistic expectations from fresh graduates.…….I don’t even think coming out with first class is even worth it anymore because companies\industries are not looking for first class student anymore unlike before because it is believed that they have theoretical knowledge and not practical knowledge. the funniest thing is that student still has their own fault but it emanate from somewhere..thank u

    1. Gospel

      Not only that,even if you’re with a certificate and being qualify for any job, apart from God being with you, you can’t get the job because people on the head, would have already fixed their candidates, despite they have certificate or not. the world is just like a football field, which you only pass ball to your opponent.

      thousands and one are out there with certificates, but no work for them while some without certificate, but there are staffs in some companies of which i’ve witness a lot at my working place.

      but with God, all things are possible.

  29. Darasimi

    Dis is rilly a perfect write-up

  30. Devoice Onaga

    Wonderful write up sir,
    I also want to add that some other causes of unemployment could be internal factors like, laziness, pride, wrong decision, bad influence etc. i have seen many graduates who just don’t like to work, this is because all through their life someone have been taken care of them, so they want it to remain so. secondly.pride, some unemployed youths, don’t like starting small, they rather stay idle instead of starting with low or small income, don’t you think that these points can add to unemployment in Nigeria today?

    1. ali abatcha

      I am really appreciate with your addition or correction. your addition for me is accepted but I don’t know for the author

  31. Debby.

    How can the situation of epileptic power supply in Nigeria be reversed?

  32. Anonymous

    wonderful write-up. Thank you so much. I found it very very helpful in my research on “The fall in the price of crude oil in the International Market a blessing or curse to Nigeria?”

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