The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) just released the Unemployment and Underemployment Report for Q2-2020, and once again the data showed alarming figures for the unemployment rate in Nigeria, reporting a national unemployment rate of 27% and Underemployment Rate of 28.6%. That’s enough to cause stomach upset, but that’s not the “KOKO” of this article. The report contained some stat that caught my attention.
Let’s start with the large population of Nigerians with PhD. In the last quarter of 2017, NBS reported that there were 70,739 PhD holders and 72,146 in the third quarter of 2018. In the most recent data for the second quarter of 2020, the number of PhD holders has increased to 76,526. Also disturbing is the high number of unemployed PhD holders. According to StatiSense, the NBS report shows that in 2018, there were 9,832 unemployed PhD holders in the third quarter of 2018, a figure that increased from 7,817 reported for the last quarter of 2017. And in the second quarter of 2020, it has increased to 17,831. This clearly means that 7,999 PhD holders have been added to the unemployment market in 21 months – 381 PhD holders per month.
Apart from those with PhDs, the report also reviewed that about 120,000 Nigerians with Master’s Degree are unemployed and over 2.8million with Bachelor’s Degree are also unemployed. Moreover, the report shows that those with Diploma (over 2million), O-Level (over 8million), Vocational certification (about 50,000), and Junior Secondary school (over 1.3million) are unemployed. When you consider that the national unemployment rate is at 27% and the increasing number of those with qualifications and still unemployed, you realize that an educated Nigerian is more likely to be unemployed than the average Nigerian. Meaning, the likelihood of been employed having attended a university is low.