A recent report by the World Bank detailed the frightening scale of diminution of the Nigerian socio-economic framework. The multilateral institution provided data to corroborate its claims that Nigeria is currently in the midst of one of her worst unemployment crises in recent history.
The data collated by the International Financial Institution indicated a significant proliferation in the number of asylum seekers from Nigeria by a margin of 1,380 percent. The data purported that the last decade has witnessed an increase in Nigerian refugees and asylum seekers from 27,557 in 2010 to 408,078 in 2019.
The report further indicated a 300 percent rise in the number of International migrants from Nigeria. Nigerians in diaspora grew from 446,806 in 1990 to 1,438,331 in 2019. It opined that although the African Giant was benefiting from the success of its nationals in diaspora due to their 5 percent contribution to the GDP in 2019, the narrative as relates to international migration has been somewhat bleak.
The World Bank report stated that Nigeria was in the middle of an unemployment crisis. Between 2014 and 2020, as per the report, the number of unemployed members of the Nigerian working age population increased from 29 million to 52 million. It went on to elaborate on the particulates of this damning statistic, indicating that between 2010 and 2020 there was a 500 percent rise in unemployment from just over 6 percent to around 33.3 percent. Thee COVID-19 pandemic led Nigeria to her worst recession in 40 years.
The debilitating conditions stemming from unemployment amongst the educated and talented population of Nigerians is a key driver of migration. The World Bank stated that the number of Nigerians looking to leave the country is on the rise which creates a migratory pressure on the Nigerian economy. The bank’s report stated that the number of Nigerians seeking to migrate increased to 52 percent in 2018 from 36 percent in 2014.
It however suggested that since there has not been an expansion of legal pathways to migration, young Nigerians are seeking to exploit irregular migration routes to reach for their dreams of a better life.