The Statistician-General of the Federation, Prince Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, has urged Nigerians to disregard any unemployment figures or data coming from any other body or organisation aside the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Prince Adeniran, who spoke to journalists and publishers in an interactive session on Friday night, said the NBS is the only agency with the mandate to study, gather data and issue such figures for the purpose of aiding the government in planning.
Reacting to a recent report credited to KPMG which put Nigeria’s unemployment rate at over 40 percent, Prince Adeniran said aside his office having the sole authority to issue statistical data on the performance of each sector of the economy, they don’t merely forecast or issue projected data.
“We don’t forecast or project based on what others have done and try to mislead the Nigerian government into planning with what is not reliable. We go out and get actual, raw data,” he said.
He accused the KPMG of using NBS data to project and forecast before arriving at the over 40 percent unemployment rate which he said is not realistic.
He argued that the 40 percent unemployment rate issued by the KPMG is not reliable as it is based on an old methodology that has been discarded in line with global best practices.
The NBS boss said the agency has adopted a new methodology in line with global standards and will in a matter of weeks come up with a more robust, comprehensive, reliable and usable Official Labour Force Survey which will capture the employment and unemployment rate in the country.
“33 percent or 40 percent unemployment rate is no longer tenable. The methodology has to change in line with global best practices. No country has 40 percent unemployment rate as some people quote in Nigeria,” he said.
He stated further that the Official Labour Force Survey is often generated from National Household Surveys by any country’s National Statistical Office (NSO) adding that “this is not done on the desk. It is done on the field as the households have to be visited.”