Data released by the National Bureau for Statistics, indicate that Imo State has the highest level of unemployment in Nigeria. In other words, the state is the “unemployment capital” of Nigeria.
The state do have unemployment rate of 48.7% as at the second quarter of 2020, by far the highest when compared to any other state in the country.
In contrast, neighboring Anambra State do have the least unemployment rate in the country with 13.1%.
Imo state is adjudged a civil service state with little or no private sector presence. Calls on successive state governments to redirect the economy of the State from public service driven to private sector based had failed.
Reacting to the NBS rating, a watchdog group based in the State, Imo Awareness Coalition, IAC, described the NBS revelation as “a clear indication that past and present governments in the state failed to evolve a workable roadmap to take Imolites, particularly the youths out of unemployment circle”
A statement by Fidelis Echendu, Publicity Secretary of the Coalition, said “this calls for proactive measures to redirect the economy of the State”.
“The only way to achieve this, is for the present government to begin immediately to evolve plans of creating jobs for our youths.
“The NBS rating underscores the seriousness of the level of unemployment in the State. This revelation is a wake-up call on the state government because failure to address this shocking development is like a time bomb ticking to explode.
“This is an anomaly that has germinated over the years and we understand it will take sometime for the state government to contain. At the same time, we call for proactive and concerted efforts now to address this embarrassing, but stark reality, in order to reverse this trend.