The rate of unemployment among Nigerians worsened after President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office, a latest report by the federal government has indicated.
The report, the 2011 Performance Monitoring Report on Government's Ministries, Departments and Agencies, was announced by the National Planning Commission on Thursday in Abuja.
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.
"In 2011, Nigeria's unemployment rose to 23.9 per cent compared with 21.1 per cent in 2010," the News Agency of Nigeria quotes the report as stating. The report referenced its facts from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Mr. Jonathan assumed office as Nigeria's substantive president on May 6, 2010, a day after the death of his predecessor and former boss, Umaru Yar'Adua. He continued as president in 2011 after he won the presidential election; and was sworn in for a fresh four-year term on May 29, 2011.
The National Planning Commission report confirms the fears by Nigerians that unemployment has been on the rise in the country with unofficial estimates putting it at above 30 per cent. It is also one of many other reports by national, regional, and global bodies indicating that the efforts being put in place by the Jonathan administration may not be yielding the required results.
In June, the World Bank released a report, Nigeria Economic Report, stating that unemployment rate worsened from "12% of the working population in 2006 to 24% in 2011."
"Preliminary indications are that this upward trend continued in 2012," the World Bank stated.
The Population Commission report also stated that 51.18 million Nigerians were employed in the economy in 2011.
The report stated that figures from the NBS clearly illustrated the deep challenges in Nigeria's labour market.
"The NBS estimates that Nigeria's population grew by 3.2 per cent in 2011 from 159.3 million people in 2010 to 164.4 million in 2011, reflecting rapid population growth.
"Unemployment was higher in rural areas at 25.6 per cent than in urban areas, where it was 17 per cent on average," the report added.
The report urged that efforts to create an environment conducive for job creation must be redoubled.
It stated that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity reported resolving 279 of the 328 labour complaints it received in 2011. This represent 85 per cent rate of resolution of complaints.
It stated further that the number of complaints received increased compared with 263 recorded in 2010, adding that the resolution rate of 85 per cent improved from 51 per cent in 2010.
"The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity also reported a decreased in the percentage of man hours lost to strikes in 2011; and an increase in the number of persons trained and equipped under skills acquisition programmes to establish their own trade," the report said.
It stated that the number of jobs created in 2011 was reported as 209,239 by the Ministry of Labour and Productivity.