Trends in demographic data are important to forecasting skills supply as the size of the younger cohorts in the population, in part, determines the number of new entrants to various levels of education and training in the years to follow.

The population in Nigeria is currently estimated at 177 million.

These statistics make two things clear: (i) The skills supply infrastructure will face huge pressures as the 0-14 cohort starts to reach employment age: (ii) The overall labour supply will be adequate – if it can be educated and trained – for the likely skills demands of industry for the foreseeable future.


Changes in employment patterns may, as it always does, lead to changes in skills demand and therefore a need for re-skilling to ensure the elasticity of supply of labour.

The economically active population of Nigeria is estimated at 100,657,551 (2014). The total labour force of Nigeria is estimated at 72,931,608 (2014).

Job creation in Nigeria has been inadequate to keep pace with the expanding working age population. However, the problem in Nigeria might best be interpreted as underemployment in contrast to unemployment proper. As in many other developing countries, most Nigerians cannot afford to be completely unemployed. Many Nigerians work in the informal sector doing various low paying tasks that do not add up to regular employment. However, the long-term unemployed constitute 90.2% of all unemployed in Nigeria and this rises to 92% in rural areas.

11. The level of skilled immigration and emigration will also have an impact upon skills supply: immigration will bring in new skills (and indicate a possible failure in the supply infrastructure to meet demand), whilst emigration will have impact on enrolments for skills training in the future. In 2005, the total immigrant stock in Nigeria was estimated at 971,500, of which 80 per cent came from sub- Saharan countries, according to a study by the World Bank. Reports suggest an increasing trend of highly skilled emigration from Nigeria, but different reports present different numbers: varying from 65 per cent to 53.1 per cent (the difference seems to be caused by different age structures chosen for the samples). The emigration of the highly skilled Nigerians is an emerging issue. Whilst remittances from emigrants do play an important economic role, it is not clear that this offsets the economic disadvantage of losing Nigeria’s skilled workers.