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Informal sector has solutions to solve youth unemployment – Report

A report by the Jobberman, Nigeria’s leading recruitment agency, has stated that the informal sector has the potential to reduce the youth unemployment facing Nigeria.…

A report by the Jobberman, Nigeria’s leading recruitment agency, has stated that the informal sector has the potential to reduce the youth unemployment facing Nigeria.

The report, which was launched yesterday called for investments in the sector as it employs 90 per cent of the Nigerian working force.

The report which looked into the informal aspect of agriculture, creative and digital sectors stated that regional disparities exist in the organisation and composition of the informal sector between the northern and southern part of the country.

It noted that the sector in the south is urban-centric with diverse activities that include youth and women participation, higher representation of youth and women as well as facilitating some informal channels to foster skill acquisition.

On the other hand, the sector is dominated by agricultural practices that are influenced by cultural and religious norms that shape workforce dynamics in the north.

“There is also a limited urbanisation impact as it is a rural-based economy when contrasted to urban South. The challenges of the sector in the region include access to formal education and technology.”

Overall, the report said globalisation and digitisation present opportunities for informal workers, as it provides strategic partnerships, market intelligence, and adaptive regulatory frameworks, which are essential for maximising opportunities and mitigating risks in the globalised digital economy.

It added that the sector has provided a permanent shift of workers from formal sectors to informal sector opportunities with less side hustles that placed emphasis on more affordable platforms for skills development and less reliance on university degrees.

It recommended the understanding of where informal sector workers engage in search of opportunity to leverage skills development and training.

“Designing social benefits with specific tailoring for the several sub sectors, will drive increased/large scale impact. Direct investment to companies that have an opportunity to employ large amounts of informal sector workers should be a strategic priority.”

The CEO of the African Talent Company, Hilda Kragha, said the report was necessitated after it realised that the solution to unemployment is not to take job seekers from the informal sector to the formal sector.

“The solution is to make sure that within that informal sector, they should have access to the right tools, learning and network that will allow them to exist in the necessary way.”

She added that Jobberman in partnership with Mastercard Foundation has upskilled 1.5m youth in Nigeria from the target of 2m while 400,000 has been connected with opportunities.

Jobberman’s head of Partnerships, Ahmed Alaga said, “If we are going to take a solution to address unemployment, the informal sector provides itself as a great opportunity as we are the largest young population. I strongly believe that in the next couple of years, Nigeria has only two options, either the largest workforce in the world or the largest criminal force in the world.

On his part, the CEO of Jobberman Nigeria, Ore Boboye, said there is the need to make the informal sector to be a dignified sector to enable a sustainable and career path for workers.


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