As a means of survival in the crisis of inflating cost of living in Nigeria, unemployed youths have began to depend on bets, handouts, and their savings. A 23-year-old data consultant and analyst, Adebisi Leroy, said he has had no job for four months and has been depending on his savings. According to 2022 Jobberman report, titled “How do Young People Survive without Jobs”, it was stated that the survival strategies of unemployed Nigerian youths include borrowing, social media giveaways, hustling, betting, family and friends, government security nets, and stipends from parents.
A 27-year-old graduate of agriculture, Kunle Olakintan, said he has been without a job for four years and has been surviving on menial jobs, family and friends, and internet giveaways. He said that he has given up on job hunting, but he bets occasionally to get money for short time sustenance. He said this year is a challenging one for him as an unemployed Nigerian, due to the continuously increasing cost of living in Africa’s largest economy.
Young Nigerians have the highest rate of lack of gainful employment.
According to a recent data by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the unemployment rate in Nigeria reduced to 4.1 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 from 5.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022. This has indicated a lower rate compared to those of China, Germany, the UK, and France. It also showed a reduction from the 33.3 percent unemployment rate in 2020. The agency stated that the new calculation model is in accordance with the figures in other developing countries.
In other developing countries, a few hours work, and even low-productivity jobs, are significant for survival, especially since there is no social protection for the unemployed. The statistical agency said that young Nigerians have the highest rate of lack of gainful employment, in comparison to other age groups, and is higher in urban areas than it is in rural areas. It was also said to be higher among youths with higher educational attainment and extreme for those with post-secondary education.
Youths are dropping out of school for menial jobs.
NBS asserted that youths with higher levels of education have a tendency of seeking formal, wage-employment jobs, which could take extended periods of search. A report by the World Bank highlighted that the exacerbating poverty in Africa’s biggest economy is the reason why many youths are dropping out of school for menial jobs. The 2016 oil recession and COVID-19 crises both saw youths quit school to join the labour market, thereby increasing total labour supply.
Increasing labour supply in the midst of serious job shortages have contributed to informality and precarity in Nigeria labour market. Due to these economic uncertainties, many unemployed Nigerians are seeking opportunities for greener pastures abroad. This act has aided massive brain drain that keeps affecting the quality of labour in the most populous African country, Nigeria. The Nigerian phrase “Adulthood an scam” has become a widely used indigenous expression that interprets the massive burdens that accompany age progression.
There is a borrowing trend among jobless young people.
The Jobberman report added that even though “hustle” is the first means of survival for many jobless people, about 78 percent still rely on other people for survival, 34.7 percent depend on stipends gotten from their parents, while about 43 percent get food and other supports from family and friends. There is also a borrowing trend among jobless young people. Some of them take up loans — from as low as N5,000 — from micro-lenders with demeaning and strict refund policies. Owing to the levels of vulnerability of support systems, young people may have to do all it takes to survive.