Home » Africa: Nigeria’s unemployment rate may rise as foreigners dominate its informal sector

Africa: Nigeria’s unemployment rate may rise as foreigners dominate its informal sector

by Atqnews
0 comment

With the unemployment rate currently pegged at 33%, there are indications that Nigeria may further experience an increase in the number following the domination of its informal sector by foreigners working in skilled and unskilled labour sectors of the economy.

According to thenationonlineng.net, this is particularly worrisome because even the local content quota which ordinarily should protect the locals is skewed in favour of foreign players, The Nation has learnt.

Investigation by The Nation revealed that majority of the trade skills such as plumbing, vulcanizing, electrical-electronics, welding, building construction, tiling, interior décor, to mention just a few, are been dominated by foreigners from neighbouring African countries and beyond no thanks to the paucity of local artisans.

This is just as many Nigerian firms pay hefty fees to retain expatriates working with them.

Sharing his experience, Victor Adeoye Omole, Chairman/Chief Executive of Archers Group, one of the indigenous players in the nation’s oxygen gas subsector disclosed that he spends an average of N5milion to retain an expatriate in his firm.

According to him, oxygen gas producers require at least two-three expatriate workers to boost their operations because technical knowhow by locals is unavailable.

“It is rather disheartening to note that you don’t find a lot of Nigerians who are willing to learn any of these trade skills anymore because of their rich-quick tendencies, “he said.

READ: Africa: How Gokada, motorbike hiring service platform is reducing unemployment
Pressed further, Omole said, “Most of our youths are not patient anymore to learn trade, especially technical skills. And for you to be proficient in the technical work, you need years of experience because there are lines you need to count on years of experience from your masters, from those who have trained you.

Apprenticeship is very important in that area but we don’t have boys who are willing to do it anymore because of the get-rich quick scheme of the country has entered into their psyche. So that has created a lot of manpower gap for us as a country. We are therefore forced to bring in people, especially expatriates into the country and that cost us a lot.”

Speaking with a cross-section of experts, including Sesan Oresanaya, an artisan who majors in the repairs of generators and other electronics at Iyana-Ipaja, a Lagos suburb, he said, he set up shop some 15 years ago but regretted that he has only been able to get fewer apprentices who stay the entire 18 months period to learn the skills.

Oresanya who is the Chairman of Tricycle, Generator and Motor Cycle Association, Aboru chapter, admitted that the incursion of foreigners, especially from neighbouring countries like Togo, Ghana into areas otherwise dominated by the locals is a thing of concern and deserves to be looked into.

READ: NEWS: Nearly 50% Of Americans Cannot Afford A 1-Bedroom Rental Apartment Due To Low Income Says NLIHC
Echoing similar sentiments, Waheed Dosunmu, a motor mechanic, also revealed that most of the few hands with him are also not willing to learn the trade anymore, thus fueling fears that the manpower needs of these trades may face serious gap in the not too distant future.

Also speaking recently, President of the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW), Chief Solomon Edebiri said that the influx of foreigners into the welding engineering sub-sector in the country was hindering the growth of the industry.

Edebiri described the welding engineering sub-sector as a veritable goldmine waiting to be tapped by the federal government for its economic growth.

“Welding and its related practices is the heart beat of industrialisation and remains one of the highest employers of labour and a critical corner piece of the construction industry. Seven of every ten jobs in the oil and gas industry is closely welding related,” he said.

He lamented that until recently, interest by Nigerians in the field of welding was extremely low despite huge unemployment statistics, noting that the rate at which the Chinese and Indians were infiltrating the construction industry was worrisome.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


ATQnews.com® a member of Travel Media Group is the online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. 


Latest News

ATQNEWS @2024 – All Right Reserved.

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin