The Statistician-General of the Federation, Yemi Kale, said, yesterday, that the Federal Government has not released money for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to complete the nation’s unemployment report.
NBS has not released Nigeria’s unemployment figures, which should be made public quarterly.
The Statistician-General and NBS have been accused of hoarding the figures so as not to damage the reputation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration going into an election year.
NBS had postponed release of the data over time, with the latest being from late November to December 7.
Based on previous reports, it is expected that unemployment in the country will soar to record highs, with 18.8 percent of the country’s population or 15.9 million people, unemployed.
Explaining the situation via Twitter, the NBS boss asked Nigerians to stop politicising the non-release of unemployment numbers.
He said: “I know it is election time, but I’ve said this repeatedly, nobody is calling me to manipulate any data or not to release any data.
“The work cannot be completed due to budgetary releases. It is not hard to confirm when last we got data funding and how much.
“The number of unemployed people within the labour force, who are unemployed or underemployed, increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017 to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.”