The executive secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, has said that the number of unemployed people in Nigeria is a little below the total population of Sierra Leone, Togo and Liberia.
The three countries have a combined population of about 19.4 million.
Sierra Leone has a population of 7.3 million people; Togo, 7.6 million and Liberia, 4.6 million according to 2016 estimates.
Speaking as a guest speaker in a programme organized by the Institute of Directors (IOD) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, Wabote quoted the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as saying that 16 million Nigerians are currently unemployed.
Speaking on the topic ‘Addressing unemployment: Local Content as an option’, the NCDMB chief revealed that Nigerian tertiary institutions churn out 500,000 graduates yearly without meaningful jobs waiting for them.
He pointed out that local content policy could be used to address unemployment in the country.
He regretted that Nigeria is the only country that produces crude oil but imports petroleum products.
Furthermore, Wabote identified agriculture as a major employer of labour in the country stressing that Nigerians and government have not realized the value chains in the sector.
Earlier, the director general and chief executive officer of IoD Nigeria, Mr. Dele Alimi, had described Rivers State as “the wealth of the nation”.
He said if local content policy is entrenched, it would bring about good corporate governance beneficial to members of the public.