The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has denied a claim by Nigeria’s Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, that the World Bank questioned the methodology employed to generate Nigeria’s employment data.
The NBS refuted Mr Ngige’s claim in a Twitter post on Friday, adding that the World Bank never questioned its data.
The bureau said the World Bank can be contacted to verify its statement “in case of doubt”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Ngige had claimed that the World Bank questioned the methodology employed by the NBS to generate its employment statistics.
While receiving the leadership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) in his office, the minister claimed that the federal government would meet virtually with World Bank representatives on Thursday to discuss the modalities used by the bureau in data gathering.
According to him, he had on several occasions queried the employment statistics released by the NBS.
“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,” he said.
“There has been a little confusion there as to the accuracy of data generated by the NBS. So, we want to align everything tomorrow (Thursday). The World Bank says the NBS methodology doesn’t conform to the global standard, especially the ILO format of arriving at such employment Index.”
The NBS denied its claim in a follow-up tweet.
“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,” the tweet reads.
In March, the NBS said one in three Nigerians able and willing to work had no jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The bureau reported that Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 33.3 per cent, translating to some 23.2 million people, the highest in at least 13 years and the second-highest rate in the world.
The figure jumped from 27.1 per cent recorded in the second quarter amidst Nigeria’s lingering economic crisis made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
Unemployment rate in the country has more than quadrupled since 2016 when the economy slipped into a recession. A second recession occurred in 2020.
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