Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has not been able to effectively tackle its rising unemployment rate – a time bomb, if not dealt with quickly. In 2020, the border market saw an increase in its unemployment rate, due to an ever-growing dependent population, the reduction in the total production of goods and services and the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which had a negative impact on the economy and led to employment. loss for thousands of Nigerians.
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Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that:
- Nigeria’s unemployment rate in Q2 2020 was 27.1% – indicating that around 21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians are unemployed.
- In addition, 13.9 million young Nigerians are unemployed.
- Young people aged 15 to 24 had the highest unemployment rate, 40.8%; followed by young people aged 25 to 34, 30.7%.
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This unimpressive economic data can be curbed if Nigerian regulators and stakeholders harness the potential inherent in cryptos, to further bolster the development of Africa’s largest economy.
Cryptocurrencies can help address the many challenges faced in international trade by many Nigerians, who do not have a bank account. With the help of blockchain technology, many unemployed Nigerians can use the tools behind crypto and blockchain to generate income, as traditional jobs gradually become obsolete.
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Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could also help the unemployed facilitate small-scale international trade. Bitcoin allows these parties to sell products in exchange for Bitcoin and a boycott of traditional e-commerce systems, which often involves having to create a merchant account with traditional banks, along with the associated fees.
Cryptos, once fully adopted, will have a huge impact on Nigeria, increasing the financial inclusion of individuals and businesses. In particular, by reducing fees and transaction time, cross-border payments can be improved. This is beneficial for remittances, peer-to-peer lending, and international trade.
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Experts discuss the use of cryptos to reduce unemployment
In an exclusive interview with Nairametrics, Chike okonkwo, Business Development Manager, OKEx, spoke about the role crypto can play in providing income for a substantial number of young Nigerians.
“Since the adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa, Nigeria has become a major hot zone in the African cryptocurrency space. The adoption of blockchain / cryptocurrency by Nigerians has been able to provide jobs for young Nigerians like me.
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“The industry will further reduce unemployment in Nigeria, but to achieve this, education in blockchain and crypto must be a priority because it is a young industry. I personally encourage many young people looking for a career path to explore the blockchain and crypto space.
“We need people who understand business development, media, marketing, programming, crypto trading, legal compliance, design / graphics, etc. in industry.
“Young Nigerians have built trusted platforms for buying and selling crypto and there is more to come. I am a member of the Stakeholders in Blockchain Association (SiBAN), which aims to unite / self-regulate industry players and the Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), with a primary focus on educating people about industry.
Charles Okaformbah, Blockchain Solutions Architect, in a note to Nairametrics, gave key insights into the employment opportunities crypto can offer to Nigeria’s growing population.
“Besides the business activities carried out by Nigerians, DeFi products can be created with crypto to help build businesses that will employ more Nigerians.
“Trading with little funds might not really pay off much compared to the inflated cost of living, but long-term investments in strong crypto-assets have proven to be a game-changer or have produced a lot more returns.
“Remittances can also be done with crypto for a fee to international traders, which is currently limited by government monetary policies.
“There are also crypto-guarantees. Besides crypto as an end product, employment can also be provided through technology for tech enthusiasts / geeks, creating their services such as crypto / blockchain solutions for organizations, developing products related to technology cryptography, providing audit for smart contracts, crypto-legal audit, project management, and much more.
Digital currencies or cryptocurrencies as such will not have an overall impact on the Nigerian unemployment index. However, Nigeria must start building native blockchain infrastructure after the pandemic.
In this way, the fundamental sovereignty of technology will arise and mutate as it responds to our unique Nigerian market niche. The domino effect between the skilled, entrepreneurial and regular professional layers would be enormous.
Improving financial inclusion is the biggest and most developed benefit of cryptocurrencies for Nigerians.