About 81% of Nigerians in the employment pool are not in any productive sector of the economy, the Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform Committee, Taiwo Oyedele, has said.
Oyedele said while the unemployment rate in Nigeria is relatively low at 4.2%, most employed Nigerians do not add any meaningful value to the economy.
Speaking Thursday at the Africa Trade and Investment Summit, he said Nigeria has the same unemployment rate as the United Kingdom.
He said: “About 81% of people in employment in Nigeria are engaged in a non-productive sector of the economy. They are doing things that do not add value in the real sense of the world.
“That is the reason our unemployment rate even though is just 4.2%, similar to that of the UK. Our poverty rate is still one of the highest in the world. We have over 113 million people living in poverty as of 2022 and it is most likely to have increased because that was before subsidy removal and naira floatation.
“So how is it that you have a high employment rate and you also have one of the highest poverty rates? That is the only explanation. We are working poor. We need to create decent jobs. Our job is just beginning.”
According to him, while Nigeria cannot control the global economic climate, a change in policy direction can help manage the economic situation of the country.
“While we cannot control what Russia and Ukraine are doing. We cannot control what happens in Gaza. Just making it easy for small businesses to earn a meaningful living, it is easier for manufacturers to produce,” he said.