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NBS refutes claim World Bank questioned Nigeria’s employment data

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has refuted the claims of Minister of labour and employment that the World Bank has questioned the methodology employed to generate Nigeria’s employment statistics.

Recall that the NBS report which was released in March showed that Nigeria’s unemployment rate hit a new record high at 33.3 percent in fourth quarter (Q4) 2020 from 27.1 percent recorded in second quarter (Q2) 2020. This translated to 23.18 million unemployed people during the period under review.

Speaking on the development on Wednesday, Ngige said the World Bank has questioned the methodology employed by the NBS to generate its employment statistics.

Ngige disclosed that the federal government will 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.”

Reacting via a Twitter post on Friday, the NBS refuted Ngige’s claim, saying 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”.

“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.

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