Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and most populous country with over 180 million citizens. It is a political federation that consists of 36 autonomous states, and a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse society. Nigeria has abundant natural resources, cheap labour, and a democratically elected government. The new administration, sworn in in 2015, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, identifies the following main policy priorities: fighting corruption; increasing security; tackling unemployment; diversifying the economy; enhancing climate resilience; and boosting the living standards of Nigerians.
The sharp decline in the global price of oil which is the traditional source of 90 percent of Nigeria’s export revenues, and the artificial capital controls imposed by the Government of Nigeria (GON) have been perceived as contributing to Nigeria’s economic difficulties. This means that Nigeria’s current economic growth depends on the non-oil sector, particularly construction, telecommunications, wholesale/retail trade, hotel and restaurant services, manufacturing and agriculture.
With an economy in a recession in the face of decreasing oil prices, tackling youth unemployment is of prime importance. Twenty-five percent of the labour force is either unemployed or underemployed, casting a gloomy prognosis on the country’s economic future. The depth of Nigeria’s unemployment crisis is particularly evident amongst young people, with two in five youths between the ages of 15 and 35 affected. The Nigerian government has embarked on a job creation initiative in collaboration with private and public sector stakeholders. The aim of this initiative is to develop a national skills policy that addresses the skills and capability challenges across all sectors in Nigeria.
Nigeria has skills challenges that urgently need to be addressed through the National Skills Policy, with a special focus on low-and middle-income groups. Some of the challenges have been attributed to: use of an outdated curriculum which does not meet present employment needs; poor teacher training and failings in the education system; as well as a lack of productive, skilled positions for graduates in corporate organisations. Employers report that those leaving education, including graduates, have unrealistic expectations, limited soft skills and irrelevant qualifications
In a bid to resolve these issues, in March 2016, the Vice President’s office launched the Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan for Job Creation and Youth Employment. This framework is based on a partnership model which supports private and public sector collaboration to develop a National Skills Policy that addresses the skills and capability challenges across all sectors in Nigeria.
International Skills Partnerships offer opportunities for Nigerian and UK stakeholders to agree, design, develop and deliver interventions to address some of the identified issues or gaps identified in the skills sector.
Read here the profile of the organisation from Nigeria.