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Most working Nigerians don't add value to the economy - Presidential team

Oyedele wondered why Nigeria's poverty rate remains one of the highest in the world despite the unemployment rate hovering around 4.2%.

Taiwo Oyedele [Twitter:@taiwoyedele]

According to the former PwC executive, this number of Nigerians accounts for 81% of the working population.

Oyedele disclosed this while speaking at the Africa Trade and Investment Summit on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

The tax expert argued that even though Nigeria's unemployment rate is relatively low at 4.2%, most employed citizens don't add any substantial value to the economy.

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“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," Oyedele declared.

He questioned why Nigeria's poverty rate remains one of the highest in the world despite having the same unemployment rate as the United Kingdom.

He said, “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.

Oyedele proposed that since Nigeria can't control the global economic climate, the government must adopt a policy change to help manage the country’s economic situation.

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“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 added.

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