*Says more jobs required for booming population
James Emejo in Abuja

The World Bank on Tuesday estimated that with the country’s population of over 170 million, it would required between 40 million to 50 million new jobs by 2030 to absorb new labour market entrants.

It also noted the informal sector of the economy appeared to have greater potential for growth and job creation.

The bank, its report on “An Assessment of the Investment Climate in Nigeria:The Challenges of Nigeria’s Private Sector” stated among other things that the innovation landscape in the country is currently characterised by low investment in knowledge capital including Research and Development (R&D) and training, leading to low rates of technological innovation especially product innovation and upgrading.

The report further established that cooperation with universities and government research centers is non-existent as innovation is developed internally with little cooperation with other firms.

It further held that going by small number of innovation outcomes, statistically, returns to innovation are absent even when considering higher degrees of radicalness or novelty.

“This indicates that firm-level innovation in Nigeria is likely to be very incremental and of low quality,” it added.

Similarly in another report “More, and More Productivity, Jobs for Nigeria” which was also launched alongside the “Nigeria:Skills for Competitiveness and Employability” report, the Breton Woods institution said to reduce poverty and improve more inclusive growth, jobs needed to be more productive and provide higher income than the present jobs today.

Speaking on the new releases, World Bank Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoud said:”Understanding where people work, constraints to firm growth and the skills needed is fundamental to formulating appropriate policies. The solid, detailed diagnostics in these reports are critical inputs to developing education and jobs strategies for Nigeria.”

The reports further called attention to agriculture which will remain the largest employer for the foreseeable but in which there’s currently a disconnect.

The studies also advocate schemes that would reduce income volatility over the short term and provide safety nets to prevent people from falling into poverty and protect economic development over the longer term.
They also held that efforts to identify appropriate employment policies must be based on reliable data and rigorous analysis, calling for more attention on key areas of education, competitiveness and jobs agenda.