Nigeria : education, labour market, migration. Annex A to "Dutch labour market shortages and potential labour supply from Africa and the Middle East" (SEO report no. 2019-24)

TitleNigeria : education, labour market, migration. Annex A to "Dutch labour market shortages and potential labour supply from Africa and the Middle East" (SEO report no. 2019-24)
Publication TypeOther
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsA. Akinyoade
Series titleSEO report
Pagination - 59
Date Published2019
Place PublishedAmsterdam
Publication Languageeng
Keywordseducation, employment, labour market, migration, Nigeria, unemployment

Enrolment in both primary and secondary schools has risen substantially over the years, but secondary and tertiary enrolment remains low. The primary student population increased from just under4 million students in 1970 to more than 26 million students in 2013.Similarly, at the secondary level, student numbers increased from a base of approximately 360,000 students in 1970 to 12.5 million students in 2013. Likewise, the tertiary sector recorded an appreciable increase in the numbers of institutions, variety of courses and enrolled students in the same period. Despite these increases, only about half of all primary students continue to the secondary level, and less than 15 percent eventually make it to tertiary level. The seeming lack of employment opportunities and other problems identified in the tertiary sector has contributed to a substantial increase in the number of Nigerian students undertaking tertiary education abroad, with the United Kingdom and the United States emerging as the top two destinations. Unemployment is high, particularly among youth and higher educated students. Despite Nigeria’s natural resource wealth, many Nigerians appear to have been left behind, primarily because of the shortage of employment opportunities. Unemployment is highest among youth and among those with post-secondary education. Agriculture still has the largest share of employment. Trade emerged as the second most important employment sector providing jobs for Nigerians. Though manufacturing ranks third on the list, the proportion employed in this sector has shrunk to half of what it used to be in the preceding decade. One interesting sector is Information and Communication: while providing less than 1% of all jobs, it contributes more to Nigeria’s GDP than manufacturing, due to its high value added. Nigeria is an important area of origin, destination, and transit of migrants in Africa. It is Africa’s most populous country, and a country of high migration turnover. The high immigration rate (1.2 million in 2017) is accompanied by an even higher rate of emigration of Nigerians (1.3 million in 2017), resulting in a negative net migration rate. The Nigerian Government formally adopted a National Policy on Migration and its Implementation Plan in May 2015. This occurred in the backdrop of a growing recognition of the strong links between migration and potentially immense national development benefits for the country. For instance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated that the inflow of remittances to Nigeria increased dramatically from $2.3 billion in 2004 to $22 billion in 2018; The US, followed by the UK and Cameroon are the top three destinations of Nigerian migrants. In mainland Western Europe, the Netherlands ranks as the fifth destination behind Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria. Noteworthy is the large ‘brain drain’ of Nigeria-trained medical students and health workers as well as academics who appear to be fleeing Nigeria’s struggling tertiary education landscape and unstable labour market prospects. Thousands of them are now gainfully employed in medical jobs abroad, and they tend to prefer the US and the UK to the Netherlands.

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