Nigeria’s Labour Ministry, National Bureau Of Statistics Clash Over Rising Unemployment Statistics Under Buhari

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The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment on Friday accused the National Bureau of Statistics of creating “confusion” in its data generated regarding the rate of unemployment in the country.

The ministry claimed on Twitter that the World Bank attested to it that the NBS methodology was not in conformity with global standard, prompting the NBS to hit back at the federal ministry.



The NBS stated in a response that the World Bank has denied making such statement and Nigerians can also verify.

Earlier, the Federal Ministry of Labour via @LabourMinNG tweeted, “There has been a little confusion there as to the accuracy of data generated by the NBS. So, we want to align everything tomorrow. The World Bank says the NBS methodology doesn’t conform with the global standard, especially the ILO (International Labour Organisation) format of arriving at such Employment Index.  

“While receiving the leadership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) in his office, Ngige said, “We have a virtual meeting of the National Economic Advisory Council with the World Bank to look at Nigeria’s modalities for employment statistics data collection.”

But the NBS via @nigerianstat, responded, “The World Bank has denied making any such statement and rather together with the economic advisory committee affirmed its confidence, commendation, support and close working relationship with @nigerianstat. The World Bank can be contacted if in doubt.”



Two weeks ago, labour force reports published by the NBS dating back to 2014 and 2015 revealed that the unemployment rate had been rising alarmingly.

According to the NBS, since President Muhammadu Buhari came on May 29, 2015 – the second quarter (Q2) of 2015 witnessed 6.1 million unemployed Nigerians. Another 13.5 million people were considered underemployed, which is categorised as those working less than 40 hours per week, or in jobs that underutilise their qualifications. 

According to NBS, “the unemployment rate … was highest for those within the ages of 15‐24,” and it stood at “13.7% in Q1 2015, up from 11.7% in Q4 2014”. 

In Q2 of 2015, when Buhari was elected, unemployment in this age bracket was 14.9% and rose to 17.8% in Q3. 

In 2020, the unemployment rate in Nigeria hit a record high of 33.3 percent. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, this means 23.19 million Nigerians were unemployed. Nigeria has seen a rise in both inflation and unemployment, leading Nigeria to have one of the highest number of unemployed people in the world.

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