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4.6 Million Of Nigerian Labour Force Unemployed
The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has put Nigeria’s unemployment statistics at 6.4% of the nation’s over 72 million labour force population, as at the fourth quarter of 2014.
The Bureau’s Head of Real Sector and Household Statistics, Isiaka Olarewaju, said that the new statistics is based on a revised definition and methodology for computing unemployment statistics in Nigeria.
Olarewaju noted that the old method of computation, which put the country’s unemployment statistics at 24.3% of her total labour force population, is outdated and does not show the real situation in the country.
The spokesperson for the NBS, Sunday Ichedi, said the revised methodology followed the work of a committee constituted last year to review the existing methodology and propose a more suitable definition of unemployment for the Nigerian environment.
At the inauguration of the committee last year, the Statistician General of the Federation, Yemi Kale, told members to deliberate on the current definition of unemployment as applied by NBS and come up with one that would satisfy international best practice.
The committee was composed of international non-governmental organizations, the Nigeria Labour Congress, the media, and members of the academia.
Ichedi said the need to review the existing methodology followed observations by experts that the 40-hour per week benchmark currently being used by the NBS was no longer adequate.
Nigeria currently relies on the International Labour Organisation, ILO’s principles, which put 40 hours per week as the benchmark for all persons to be considered employed.
However, the ILO principle puts Nigeria in a quandary because most of her citizens, who put in more than the required benchmark hours in menial jobs, do not earn enough to be considered employed.