The International Labor Organization (ILO) recently released a report which highlights global trends of employment. The report noted that the sub-Saharan African region which is characterized by high informal employment would experience a 3.1 percent employment growth in 20205. However, this growth will be counteracted by the displacement of workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the ILO noted that 38 percent of the global workforce would be displaced6 as a result of the pandemic. The high informal nature of the workforce in Nigeria, as well as limited social protection, stands to increase population vulnerability. Within Nigeria, the unemployment rate which stood at 23.1 percent in Q32018 has been steadily rising from Q12016 (10.4 percent)7. The current economic lockdown in addition to volatile global commodities markets further stands to drive the unemployment rate upward. One way to mitigate the impact is through a committed national economic diversification drive. Also, social investment and intervention programs should be strengthened and institutionalized to ameliorate the effect of poverty and unemployment on citizens.
April 29, 2020