Zamfara State with 42.6% topped the list, followed by Bauchi, 41.4% and Niger 39.4% .
Other states in order of ranking are Gombe, 38.7, Nasarawa 36.5, Jigawa 35.9, Yobe 35.6, Edo 35.7. Adamawa, 33.8, Kaduna 30.3, Borno 29.1, Katsina 28.1, Delta 27.2, Imo 26.9, Rivers 25.5, Plateau 25.3, Kebbi 25.3, Kano 21.3, FCT 21.1, Akwa Ibom 18.2, Cross River 18.2, Sokoto 17.9, Kogi 14.4,Taraba 12.7,Ondo 12.5.
Others are Abia 11.2, Anambra 12.4, Bayelsa 23.9, Benue 14.4, Ebonyi 23.1, Ekiti 12.1 Enugu 25.2, Ogun 22.9.
Conversely, states considered to have marginal one-digit unemployment rate are Osun, 3.0, Kwara, 7.1, Lagos 8.3 and Oyo 8.9.
With the current population of 170 million, the 23.9% as posted by NBS as national unemployment rate represents about 40.6 million Nigerians who are within the working age of 17 to 65 years. This age bracket in Nigeria’s population represents over 70% of the 170 million people, which implies that about 119,000,000 fall with in the working age of 17 to 65years and 40,630,000 lacked any form of employment.
The youth, by Nigeria’s conventional definition, are those within 17 to about 45years, and this makes about 80% of the active population, meaning that an estimated 32,504,000 active youths are totally unemployed . The NBS, however, never posted the percentage of the underemployed.
Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF) spokesman Anthony Sani appealed to the northern governors to start evaluating their performances based on what they are doing. This, he said can be achieved through adequate data collection on such issues as unemployment rate , school enrolment, maternal mortality , poverty and other social economic index.
Having such statistics, will make the governors have a standard of measurement of their performances, he said.
A renowned economist and former Vice chancellor of the Federal University of Uyo, Prof Akpan Ekpo, commenting on the rating said that the 23.9 % does not in any way reflect the ideal unemployment rate “ The youth unemployment rate in the country ideally is within the range of 35% and above.
Even that 23.9 % is alarmingly high; the manageable unemployment rate and acceptable rate is 5 %. Government hasn’t told Nigerians the percentage of the underemployed, the graduates who are selling sachet water and recharge cards. Government must urgently step up effort in this direction.” Ekpo stressed.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also held a contrary view on the NBS’s unemployment position. The vice president of NLC, Mr. Promise Adewusi, said “if the unemployment rate is anything near 30%, the country wouldn’t be in the kind of security crises that we are. The magnitude of insecurity and terrorism the country is facing is reflective that youth unemployment is above 40% .”
He added that since government cannot account for adequate unemployment data, the NLC has concluded plans to commence a nationwide data collation to ascertain the correct number of unemployed youths in the country
A management staff of the NBS confided in LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that there is no way NBS, being a government agency, would have posted a more alarming unemployment rate than the 23.9 %. “That would mean that government has failed in this direction. Such datas can only be authentic if an independent statistician is contracted to collate,” he said.
He however said that Nigeria is a developing country and, as such, the NBS, for lack of modern data collation equipment, cannot produce data as perfect as what is obtained in developed countries.
Also, the public relations officer of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Labour, Edmund Onwuliri, said government alone should not be blamed for the unemployment woes ravaging the youths,’’ the universities should start a reorientation of the mindset of youths to not always have the mentality of coming out of the university to get a whitecollar job. NDE, since its inception, has trained so many graduates and non -graduates alike on skills acquisition and also empowered many who are now operating their own businesses, and even employing others. If the universities replicate such efforts, unemployment will reduced .”
He believed that if there is steady power supply and relative security in the country, the youths can be independent and entrepreneurial.
In the 2010 figures released by NBS, Yobe State, in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, has the highest level of unemployment amongst the states in the country, with 39 per cent. Yobe is followed by Zamfara and Sokoto, with 33.4 per cent and 32.4 per cent respectively.
However, in the currently released 2011 unemployment statistics, Lagos State, the country’s commercial capital, has the lowest level of unemployment in the country, with an unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent. Others with single, digit unemployment rates include Oyo and Ogun. On average, unemployment in the country stands at 21 per cent, a rise of 1.4 per cent over the 2009 figures.