Nigeria, a developing country with an economic dependency on oil, will always struggle in the green job sector without any substantial change in policy. Currently, the country has a combined unemployment (27.1%) and underemployment (28.6%) rate of 55.7%. On top of this, Nigeria has an over reliance on oil, which is shown by the direct relationship between oil prices and Nigeria’s GDP. Due to these two factors, there is currently not a lot of room for green jobs in Nigeria.
The largest amount of green jobs in Nigeria are in agriculture. Outside of the major cities, many Nigerians can be found farming on their small family farms. This does not generate a competitive income as more than half of the country lives below the poverty line, most of whom are rural farmers. Outside of farming, there isn’t much of a market for green jobs.
Moving forward after COVID-19, Nigeria has an incredible opportunity in front of them to rebuild their economy sustainably with the implementation of more green jobs and lessen their reliance on oil. They have already started this by recently removing subsidies on oil, which was praised by the UN Secretary General. Now, they need to make sure they create green jobs outside of farming.
Nigeria recently came out with their post COVID economic plan called “Bouncing Back.” In this plan, they state that one of the main ways they will create more jobs will be by focusing on “large scale instillation of mini-grids and solar home systems in a minimum of 5 million households not currently on the grid.” In the short term, this will create numerous jobs in order to build this plan out. In the long term, it will pull many households out of poverty, further develop the economy, which will allow the implementation of more green jobs down the line. If followed through with, this plan will greatly benefit the status of green jobs in Nigeria.
Before announcing their Bouncing Back plan, Nigeria tried to create more green jobs through the Great Green Wall Programme. This is a “Pan-African Initiative conceived to address land degradation and desertification, boost food security and support communities to adapt to climate change in the Sahel-Sahara region of Africa.” Nigeria was attempting to create more green jobs by hiring people to maintain this region’s orchards and nurseries. The salary for this position is 20,000 naira ($52) a month. However, this plan has struggled to get off the ground for two reasons: not many people actually know about the jobs and secondly, there is a lack of trust in the government, which makes it less likely for individuals to take on government paid jobs. This is a significant barrier in the way of growing green jobs. If Nigeria wants to create more green jobs in the future, it needs to regain trust from its citizens.
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The Bouncing Back economic development plan for Nigeria after the impacts of COVID does offer a drastic increase in the number of green jobs available by installing 5 million home solar systems. However, it is important to be cautiously optimistic as the plan was just released and no action has been made yet.
Dear Director General Dr. Bukar Hassan,
We greatly appreciate the Great Green Wall initiative as we believe it is paramount for the future of Nigeria’s environmental sustainability. It is a great avenue to create more green jobs after COVID-19 through the Extended Special Public Works Program. However, in order to create more green jobs through this program, there needs to be more public outreach about the jobs available and an increase in wages. We suggest that you do this in order to create more green jobs in Nigeria, which in turn will create a more sustainable economy.
Send message to Dr. Bukar Hassan, who is the Director General/CEO of the National Agency for Great Green Wall.
Great Green Wall Initiative: https://ggwnigeria.gov.ng/about-naggw/
Farming and poverty: http://www.fao.org/3/I9930EN/i9930en.pdf
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Peter Hansen