The Nigerian government has disclosed plans to change the way the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) calculates unemployment figures in the country.
President Muhammudu Buhari, Senior Special Assistant on public affairs, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed this on Monday while speaking on Arise TV.
According to him, the administration of Buhari is not happy that many hardworking youths working in various Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, shops, markets are not captured as employed.
NBS the official statistics body of Nigeria had in its most recent employment statistics revealed there were over 23.1 million unemployed Nigerians which comes to an unemployment rate of 33.3% as at December 2021.
NBS in collaboration with World Bank also recently released a report that 20% of Nigerians employed at the start of 2020 lost their Jobs to COVID-19.
However, Ajuri argued that there are so many working Nigerians in various shops markets, who are employed but not captured by NBS, hence the need to change the model used for calculation.
He said, “The move to capture everyone into the employment statistics is not to make the Buhari look good but it is about ensuring the country has accurate data to precisely adjust economic actions in terms of economic development plans.
“What we have today, and the Corporation Affairs Commission (CAC) has been quite forthcoming about it. They informed Nigerians, look, there are 40 million informal MSME in Nigeria that are not registered with the CAC.
“So, you go to markets across the country, you will see people doing business having their aid, a boy or a girl, they are paying salaries to this people, and they are also paying their own salary. But the way they are currently tabulated in the country today by the NBS is that they are unemployed and having zero income which means they are under the poverty
“When the world bank and international Monetary Fund and some these development banks wants our population data they base their figures on NBS data and the mistake continues and this shows the very serious problems we have.
“Imagine in 2015, we have 8 percent unemployment figures, which is about the 140-150 million of the working population are you saying only 12 million are unemployed? Accurate data is a problem While we understand the unemployment problem we have in the country, is gripping, we are assessing these issues.
“But we also recognised, where we have a bifurcated situation, in which in one hand when it comes to population related data, despite the fact there is no census in recent years, we have real issues about factoring in the informal sector in our unemployment statistics as a country and that is a fact and we have talked about this openly”, he said.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that through the Economic Sustainability Plan, the present regime has saved over one million jobs and forestalled the closure of over 150,000 small businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Why social protection schemes are crucial, by Osinbajo at UN high-level forum on jobs.
According to him, Nigeria’s response to the fallouts of COVID-19 was guided by the conviction that “social protection schemes are crucial, and can break the cycle of poverty, give real access to jobs and economic opportunities, and improve human capacity and productivity.”