‘Creation of new jobs vital for Nigeria’s inclusive growth’

Nigeria jobEmployment needs for African youth for the continent’s development. (Image source: UNAMID/Flickr)The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will continue to support member states in their quest for sustainable development that promotes inclusive prosperity, economic opportunity and greater social well-being, according to Sylvain Boko, principal regional advisor on planning and statistics in the ECA’s Capacity Development Division

Speaking at the beginning of a two-day National Policy Dialogue on Job Creation in Nigeria, Boko said that the ECA had the mandate to promote socio-economic well-being on the continent.

The main purpose of the policy dialogue was to conduct a comprehensive analysis of Nigeria’s employment landscape and come up with ways to significantly increase the number of new jobs in the country in the next five years.

“One of the ways we do this is to work directly with individual member states to help think through their policy choices and development priorities consistent with their national aspirations,” said.

“Job creation, especially for young people, is very important. The ECA will continue to work with Member States to ensure we have partnerships and proactive efforts that can help promote job creation or create a sufficient number of jobs as we seek to address employment needs for our youth on the continent,” he added.

The dialogue was necessitated by Nigeria’s jobless growth over the period 2000 - 2015. The growth was on the back of strong global commodity prices, especially the oil export boom.

“One important means through which growth can be inclusive is by creating jobs. This derives from the reality that the benefits of economic growth reach most people through employment income. Therefore, the challenge of economic management is to ensure that economic growth translates into stable wage-paying jobs that are the key to the continued expansion of the nation’s aggregate consumption, savings and investment.”

Participants also discussed the framework for generating a deeper understanding of Nigeria’s unemployment challenge in terms of its magnitude, dimensions and the major determining factors and proposed various steps to address the unemployment challenge.

In addition, they also identified and analysed the range of barriers to creating jobs that must be tackled in the country and also deliberated on the development of an appropriate job creation strategy whose effective implementation should produce a convergence between the growth rates of Nigeria’s labour force and that of net job creation, at an acceptable unemployment rate.

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