The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has warned that Nigeria will record higher unemployment if the economy witnesses any sudden shock.
The Demographic Statistics Bulletin 2017 released yesterday by the NBS showed that majority of the Nigerian population laid between ages 0 to 14, depicting a young population, high fertility rate and dependency.
“It also implies a large population of adolescents entering the labour force in the near future. A sudden economic shock can lead to higher unemployment unless new job opportunities are urgently created,” the NBS stated in the report.
The NBS called for accelerated demographic dividend which can lead to accelerated economic growth, but for that to happen, the population age structure must change with investment in health, education, economic policy and good governance.
“Harnessing demographic dividend will lead to decline in mortality rate, desire for smaller family size and increased investment in family planning which will enable a decline in fertility among women of child-bearing age,” the report stated.
It also makes a case for “substantial investment” in reproductive health and family planning for fertility levels to begin to decline more significantly.
With improved investment in child survival and better implementation of universal health coverage, the proportion of the population at working ages will increase relative to the dependent population who earn little or no income, it said.
Francis Arinze Iloani
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