In Nigeria, the harvest is quite few and the labourers are plenty. Very plenty.

As at December 2017 when the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS released its unemployment figures, unemployment had risen from 16.2% in the second quarter of the year to 18.8% in the third quarter.  

According to the NBS, the number of unemployed or underemployed specifically increased from 13.6 million in the second quarter to 17.7 million in the third quarter of the year.

So, you see, the situation is dire.

So, where will the jobs come from this year? Before now, it used to be the manufacturing and services sectors but after the recession hit the economy, both sectors shed millions of jobs.

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Due to shortage of dollars, many manufacturing companies were unable to access dollars to buy raw materials and so many of them were forced to shut their operations or relocate to other countries.

But having devalued the naira which ushered in some stability in the foreign exchange market at the moment, the manufacturing sector is making a strong back and therefore thousands of potential jobs could be coming in from the sector this year, said Management Consultant, Leitung Gate, Benjamin Gii in chat with Bounce News.

“I think that the key drivers will be flow of foreign exchange into manufacturing sector. What investors look at is stability of foreign exchange, exchange rate over a period.

“This is so that they can make projections. They also want to be sure that there is security in repatriation of their funds,” said Gii who noted that promotion of Made-in-Nigeria goods has also helped stabilise the manufacturing sector.

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“Secondly, in terms of local sources of funds, the Bank of Industry and the Bank of Agriculture have currently announced that they are setting funds aside for manufacturers from key economic sectors.

“For the manufacturing sector, that is a good sign, because there are funds available to them which means that expansionary investment decisions can be financed,” he said.

He added: “I would say that the outlook for manufacturing sector, both from the perspective of access to finance and foreign exchange is better.”

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