The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has explained the delay in Nigeria’s unemployment data for two years.
According to the NBS’s Twitter handle on Friday, since 2021, it has been collaborating with World Bank Nigeria, the International Labour Abuja and other stakeholders to enhance the methodology and implementation of the Nigeria labour force survey, which generates the unemployment report.
“This became necessary in order to devise a more sustainable method of conducting the survey, that accommodates the unique characteristics of the Nigerian Labour Market. Considerable progress has been made, and ongoing efforts are underway,” it tweeted.
It said they have conducted a pre-test and pilot of the new approach, trained trainers and enumerators, and organized a nationwide stakeholder sensitization workshop that brought together key stakeholders from the government, the private sector and academia.
“Since the fourth quarter of the previous year, we have initiated data collection using the new approach, and anticipate releasing national results quarterly and disaggregated state-level results by the end of the year,” the NBS added.
The statistical agency said the Q1 2023 Nigeria labour force survey report using the new approach and methodology is set to be launched in Q2.
“Our commitment remains unwavering in meeting our mandate and providing stakeholders with timely and accurate data for policy formulation.”
Recall that it’s been two years since the NBS released the country’s official unemployment data of 33.3 per cent for Q4 2020
The latest data was released on March 15, 2021, eight months after it released unemployment figures for the second quarter of 2020.
Analysts say the delay is not good for Africa’s biggest economy as it shows a case of misplaced priority towards human capital development, lack of innovation, investments and wastage of resources towards solving unemployment in the country.
A country’s unemployment data is a major macroeconomic indicator that measures the performance of any economy, and help to hold politicians and policymakers accountable for their promises.
“The outdated unemployment data is indicative of how human capital development and the initiatives towards harnessing it are valued in the country. This suggests that the intentionality in solving the unemployment menace in the country is questionable,” Olamide Adeyeye, partnerships manager at The African Talent Company, said.