President Jonathan had claimed that his administration created 1.6 million jobs in 2013.
A youth development and advocacy group, Spaces for Change, has filed a Freedom of Information, FOI, request to the Office of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy to verify the number of jobs the government said it had created between 2011 and 2013.
The group said in a statement, Wednesday, that it had requested for an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies and public records of the official statistics regarding the number of jobs created in Nigeria within the stated period.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, doubles as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy.
“We would like to see the copies of the enabling policies, executed and ongoing projects and programmes for bolstering job creation and youth employment so that we may independently verify the methodology, measures and figures employed in generating the statistical data of jobs created within the specified time frame,” said Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Executive Director, Spaces for Change.
In his 2014 New Year message, President Goodluck Jonathan had claimed his government’s policies had been responsible for the creation of about 1.6 million jobs in 2013.
“Our national budget for 2014 which is now before the National Assembly is specifically targeted at job creation and inclusive growth,” President Jonathan had said. “We are keenly aware that in spite of the estimated 1.6 million new jobs created across the country in the past 12 months as a result of our actions and policies, more jobs are still needed to support our growing population. Our economic priorities will be stability and equitable growth, building on the diverse sectors of our economy.”
In addition to Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s office, Mrs. Ibezim-Ohaeri said the FOI request was also sent to Yemi Kale, Statistician-General of the Federation, Office of the National Bureau for Statistics and Nwanze Okidegbe, Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President.
“The issue of unemployment among youths cannot be over-emphasized, especially in the wake of the tragic aptitude test conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in which more than 15 Nigerian youth lost their lives last Saturday. The overwhelming population of unemployed and under-employed Nigerians that took part in that NIS examination propelled us to interrogate the official statistical data of 1.6 million jobs that have been reportedly created in the last 12-24 months in Nigeria,” Mrs. Ibezim-Ohaeri added.
Official records released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2011, and that of the National Bureau of Nigeria (NBN) in 2012 disclosed that the youth unemployment rate was 41.6 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively.
“Already, we have received an acknowledgement from the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and we very warmly welcome the promptness and professionalism at which this request is being considered and processed,” Mrs. Ibezim-Ohaeri said.