Can the gig economy create decent jobs in Nigeria?
The rise of the gig economy

In 2015, I signed up to Freelancer.com—an online job marketplace—imagining that I could generate a steady income stream and embrace freedom from the shackles of a 9 to 5 job. I had my laptop, internet connection and a will of fire.

In retrospect, let's just say it didn't go as planned, and I had to give up on that dream.

 

Some takeaways

  • The platforms that drive the new gig economy have grown in number. In 2010, there were 142 active digital labour platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork and Uber. By 2020 there was a fivefold jump to 777.

  • Decent work is critical for reducing inequality and poverty, especially since working does not mean you will escape poverty. In Nigeria, gig workers are able to earn above the minimum wage, but they do not have any social protection.

  • Therefore, regulatory intervention is required for the gig economy to create decent jobs in Nigeria.

 

I'm not alone in trying out gig work. Up to a third of the U.S. workforce did gig work in 2017. Discerning entrepreneurs have also capitalised on developing more digital platforms to widen the scope of opportunities within the current gig economy. In 2010, there were 142 active digital labour platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and Uber. By 2020 there was a fivefold jump to 777, made possible by over US$ 120 billion of venture capital funding.

 

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Nnamdi Ifechi-fred

Nnamdi Ifechi-fred

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