Update: There is new information on this post, here.
You might have read that bogus claim that Nigeria has about 17,800 unemployed PhD holders. And the publisher is citing the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria. I have done everything to track the original report, but so far, I have not been successful. But just glancing through Tekedia, I noticed a piece by Mutiu Iyanda, apparently extrapolating on the same source.
Beyond the general statistics, 17,831 PhD holders [out of 76,526] categorised under those who work for 1 to 19 hours caught our analyst’s attention. According to the statistical agency, Nigeria has 521,108 citizens with masters degree certificates, ranging from Msc, MA to MBA. Out of this number, 284,149 and 23,742 are fully employed and unemployed respectively, while 95,769 are not engaged in any work-related activities.
Of course, without my data, there is no way I can dispute or challenge anyone. Nonetheless, I do not believe that Nigeria has more than 1,000 PhDs without jobs. To my knowledge, one of the biggest problems in most universities today is that there are not many PhDs to teach. I am not aware of any PhD graduate in Nigeria that is (physically) fit for work that is unemployed in Nigeria. I think it is largely impossible because PhD is a career insurance as you can always find a school to teach! Indeed, because of human capacity scarcity, the federal government exempted professors from the typical retirement age limit, making it possible for them to work till 70 years.
And most are working, on contracts, well past 70 years because schools, especially in engineering, cannot find replacements. The brain drain on doctors makes news but check some electrical engineering and computer science departments, they continue to struggle to retain junior faculty. Of course, after this long strike, expect that problem to be exacerbated.
So, when you look at all the pieces, 17,800 unemployed PhDs in Nigeria should be near impossible.