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Digital economy for job creation in Nigeria

Article by Emmanuel Otori

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Job, Emmanuel Otori, startups, SMEs

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released a report that placed the unemployment rate in Nigeria at 33.3% in the fourth quarter of year 2020, thereby accounting for 23.18 million Nigerians with the experience and qualifications either in the formal or informal sector to secure a job.

The lack of jobs in Nigerian has been as a result of the effects of covid-19 pandemic as well as Nigeria’s unstable economic with respect to increasing inflation, reduction in demand of goods and services by consumers and a consistently low return rate from the sale of crude oil which accounts as the major source of Nigeria’s revenue.

Another major concern leading to inability of young people to secure jobs is the ability of the skills deployed by the educational system to be at par with what is obtainable in the workplace. Graduates from different fields of study find it difficult to apply what they have learnt, therefore making all the years of learning through the educational system devoid of any useful application.

Nigeria’s Micro Small Medium Enterprises have not received much rebates as access to funding is very limited in reach to a number of specific businesses, multiple taxation, high cost of renting an office space, unstable electricity culminating in an unfavourable environment despite having young Nigerians with deep interest in exploring entrepreneurship.

To make a shift to ensure the move from a consumer-based economy to one that values production and local content, it then becomes necessary to explore investments in human capacity development.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has named its top 10 skills for the future of jobs. it also stated that “by 2025, new jobs will emerge and others will be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines and would affect 97 million jobs”. Top of the list for growing job demands are digital skills such as data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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In Nigeria today, a major leap to help more people move into an economically viable quality of life is to engage in training of its population in a variety of digital skills, as Nigeria’s most significant resource are the people and in this era of business process outsourcing, revenue from diaspora can easily be harnessed by offering competitive skills to other nations of the world, most especially as the world is going remote with routine and major workplace task and projects.

Innovation hubs with resource persons, infrastructures and multilateral partnerships with nations with similar interests would see Nigeria emerge.

*Emmanuel Otori is the Chief Executive Officer at Abuja Data School

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