© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Nigeria’s unemployment rate increases by 4.3 per cent in one year
THE unemployment rate in Nigeria has increased from 18.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 to 23.1 per cent in the quarter of 2018, an increase of 4.3 per cent.
According to the “Labor Force Statistics – Volume I: Unemployment and Underemployment Report” released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday, the total number of people classified as unemployed increased from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
The report shows that out of the 20.9 million persons classified as unemployed as at third quarter of 2018; 11.1 million were underemployed; while 9.7 million did absolutely no work.
It further stated that 90.1 per cent (8.77 million) people of the unemployed were with no job because they were first-time job seekers and have never worked before; 0.9% per cent of the unemployed are doing nothing because they were previously employed but lost their jobs.
The report stated that the working-age population (people between 15 – 64 years) increased from 111.1 million to 115.5 million within one year
A few days ago, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Statistician-General of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, to change the high unemployment statistics and reflect the rising rate of employment in the agricultural sector.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said on TV that during a recent meeting with the Federal Executive Council, Kale admitted that the NBS was only focusing on the creation of white collar jobs and not the agricultural and the informal sectors.
The presidency pointed out that recent labour statistics has not reflected what is termed ‘departure’ from the previous report.
“There was a departure last week. The NBS chief had addressed the federal cabinet and he made the admission himself that they had concentrated analysis over time on white collar jobs and they had not taken cognisance of job creation in areas of agriculture.
“Rice Producers Association of Nigeria made the open claim and nobody has challenged them up until the time that we speak, that they had created 12 million new jobs,” Shehu said.
He also said the President subsequently told him to go and admit his error to members of the public and make appropriate changes.
A quick check on the website of the rice farmers association shows that the said 12 million new jobs that Shehu mentioned is that of the association’s members.
“RIFAN has over 12.2 million members who are involved in Rice farming, Milling, Storage and Management, Trading and Marketing, Export, Research and Training and Allied businesses,” the association wrote.