Nigerians leverage digital platforms to beat unemployment

There were 23.19 million unemployed people as of the last quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That translated to 33.3 per cent of the nation’s working population. But when broken down, the data revealed an unemployment rate of 53.4 per cent among people aged 15-24 and 37.0 per cent among people aged 25-34.

The situation was further compounded by the two recessions that hit Nigeria within five years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war which have shrunk the global economy.

Recently, the NBS disclosed that 133 million Nigerians were multi-dimensionally poor and according to the World Bank, more Nigerians are expected to fall into extreme poverty because of high inflation and slow growth. A lot of young Nigerians are on the receiving end as they form the bulk of the population with the country’s median age currently standing at 18.4, making it one of the youngest populations globally.

Reports have estimated that 500,000 people graduate from Nigerian universities every year, and with an already saturated employment market, many of these graduates end up without jobs for a while.

Amid this, many young Nigerians are exploring their creativity to escape the unemployment web. The growth of digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok has given many young Nigerians a leeway out of the burden of joblessness. And with many people turning to these platforms to stream content, many content creators now have sustained income, enabling them to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

A content creator, Steven Ndukwu, told The Aproko Vibes, “As a YouTuber, you are well sorted when it comes to finances.

“The first income stream is going to be from AdSense and the second will be from brands. When you start building followership, brands will want to associate with you, and your content. From this, you are going to make more than you make from AdSense which allows you to expand and employ labour.

“Currently, I have two editors on my team that are on salaries and the more I get big, the more I have to expand which is a way of giving back to the economy in terms of employing people and putting them on a payroll.  I have been doing this for two years. Two years of making videos very frequently. It is my full-time job.”

He revealed that in the first quarter he earned about $2,000 to $3,000 monthly and in the second quarter he made about $4,000 to $5,000. He noted that advertisers usually spend during the last quarter of the year. “For instance, I just got more sponsorship deals than I did at the beginning of the year,” Ndukwu asserted.

Another content creator, Adaeze Jideonwo, who resigned from her banking job to become a full-time mommy, said she got a purpose in sharing her journey and passions on her YouTube channel, Adaeze Space.

Recently, YouTube disclosed that the percentage of Nigerian YouTube channels making seven figures and more in naira revenue had grown by over 60 per cent.

In Nigeria, over 650 channels have over 100K subscribers, an increase of over 50%, year over year.

According to the Head of YouTube East and West Africa, Solafunmi Sosanya, the creative space is wide and allows a lot of people to tap into it.

Speaking to The Aproko Vibes on the sidelines of the #YouTubeBlack Africa Celebration, she said, “The creative space is a wide-open space for people to tap into.

“We have realised with what we see on YouTube that there are so many young people creating great content and sharing their stories with the world. For us, it is those unique African stories that people are telling and monetising. That is the beauty of what is happening in the creative ecosystem. And we see it developing widely, especially in different countries across Africa.”

She disclosed that there are so many new creators in Nigeria that are getting discovered and are beginning to share their stories more. According to her, gone are the days when you only see beauty and lifestyle, so many people are telling their stories.

“That is the beauty of the platform, no matter what vertical, when we say vertical we look at gaming, vlogging, baking, tailoring as you want to think of it. There is something for you and I believe creators are telling their stories. And we are learning, getting inspired, and being entertained by it. I think that will continue, and if they can monetise it, that is even better. The growth continues to be astounding.”

A recent report by stated that many young Nigerians are now TikTok content creators, harnessing the platform’s potential. The report further stated that the platform’s market share in the nation had grown by 50 per cent.

As more social media platforms gain ground in the country, more Nigerians would be able to escape from the unemployment net.

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