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Nigeria – Only 9% work full time for an employer

11 November 2013

Just 9% of Nigerians in 2012 said they worked full time for an employer; a key measure of ‘good jobs’ that the Gallup Poll refers to as ‘Payroll to Population’ (P2P). In contrast, a sizable percentage of Nigerians are underemployed or work as ‘casual’ labourers.

Nigeria's P2P rate is low even compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, despite its per-capita GDP of USD 2,420 being above the USD 1,580 median among 27 countries Gallup surveyed in the region. This contradiction underscores that the country's growth rests primarily on oil production and does not necessarily imply economic opportunities are expanding for most residents.

Economically, sub-Saharan Africa is now the second fastest-growing region worldwide. Though growth patterns vary substantially within the region, Nigeria is one of the oil-based economies driving African economic growth.

According to a recent report by the Campaign for Democratic and Workers' Rights in Nigeria, 45% of the Nigerian workforce relies on ‘casual’ employment, including low-skilled informal and/or intermittent occupations. Employers are increasingly filling formerly permanent positions in their organisations with casual employees.

Furthermore, improvements in social welfare indicators in Nigeria have been much slower than would be expected in the context of the country's economic growth. As a 2013 World Bank report outlined, "Poverty reduction and job creation have not kept pace with population growth, implying social distress for an increasing number of Nigerians”. With more than two-thirds of population living on less than USD 1.25 per day, Nigeria ranks 153 out of 186 countries in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index.

Among Nigerians who say they work full time or part time for employers, 12% are engaged in their work, according to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report. About two-thirds of employed Nigerians (65%) are ‘not engaged’. While the remaining 23% are ‘actively disengaged’, meaning they harbour negative feelings toward their employer and undermine the work of other employees.

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