With unemployment at an all-time high in Nigeria, it has never been more important than it is now to connect the country’s unemployed and underemployed with the right work opportunities that will empower them to provide the best for themselves and their families.
Unemployment is not only on the rise in Nigeria, it’s rising at a rapid pace as a result of an uncertain economic environment, exacerbated by the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, 33.3% of the country’s population were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2020 – the second-highest unemployment rate in the world.
That means that around 70 million people in Nigeria are currently without jobs and unable to generate an income to support themselves and their families while 15.9 million people in the country are underemployed, working less than 40 hours a week.
One of the biggest obstacles that often stands in the way of people finding employment is a lack of awareness.
Essentially, unemployed tradesmen, artisans and workers are unable to easily find or learn about employment opportunities where their skills are needed, largely relying on word-of-mouth or references from people within their social circles.
But, on-demand home services company SweepSouth aims to tackle this challenge by directly connecting job seekers with those who require their services.
“The simple fact is that you can take advantage of 100% of the opportunities that you’re exposed to. But, when you’re dependent on finding new work opportunities through what the people around you have knowledge of, it becomes extremely difficult to have access to opportunities that could improve your employment situation,” says SweepSouth CEO Aisha Pandor.
“Technology is one of the most powerful enablers of connectivity and we wanted to leverage that potential to ensure that home service providers such as domestic workers are able to connect with as many employment opportunities in the most convenient way possible.”
Pandor started the company in 2014 after she and her husband went through a difficult and lengthy process when trying to find a domestic worker quickly.
Now, with the tech platform SweepSouth Connect, which was launched in Nigeria four months ago, domestic workers (home cleaners, nannies) and artisans like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters and air-conditioner repair service providers, will be able to easily find dignified work.
Most importantly, the platform is allowing domestic workers to earn higher than market rates while giving them the power to choose who they take work from, where, and for how much – an opportunity that puts control back into the hands of a group that is often exploited and underpaid.
According to SweepSouth’s fourth annual Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Workers Across Africa report, although 65% of Nigerian domestic workers are the main breadwinners of their households and are responsible for financially supporting an average of four dependents, only 29% earn more than 27 000 Naira per month.
Meanwhile, more than half of domestic workers’ primary role includes cleaning, cooking and childcare. As domestic workers are excluded from Nigeria’s national minimum wage act, it is essential that their ability to find work that offers a fair wage is improved.
“Our main objective in creating SweepSouth connect was to create a platform that could demonstrably improve the lives of both customers and home service providers such as domestic workers, particularly as the pandemic has had a significant impact on domestic workers in the country, with 2 in 5 having lost their jobs as a direct result,” adds Pandor.
“Employment has such a huge impact, not only on our financial status, but also on our mental health, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.
It is critically important that we do all we can to ensure that more people have access to employment opportunities that offer fair compensation and better working conditions if we are to address unemployment at its root, and technology has a big role to play in matching job seekers with opportunity.”
SweepSouth Nigeria enables home service providers to connect with prospective clients looking for home cleaning, plumbing, painting, carpentry, air-conditioner repairs, fumigation, electrical services and more, through a simple and easy-to-use mobile app. It also provides clients with a list of vetted and trustworthy candidates, and payment is made on the platform.
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