No, 72 per cent of Nigerians are not unemployed

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ON December 18, 2023, during the daily live political show called ‘The Polity’ on KAFTAN TV, an analyst and legal practitioner Prince Ojoka stated that 72 per cent of Nigerians are unemployed.

Ojoka who had been speaking on the state of the nation, had attempted to paint a picture of the current situation of the country as he also made comments about the level of poverty.

His comments begin at the 50:28 time mark of the interview published on the YouTube channel of KAFTAN TV here.

 

CLAIM

72 per cent of Nigerians are unemployed.

 

THE FINDINGS

Checks show that the claim is FALSE.

According to the Nigeria Labour Force Statistics Report for Q2 2023 released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in December, 2023, the employment to population ratio is 77.1% and the unemployment rate is 4.2%.

Recall that the NBS had adopted a new methodology in the calculation of unemployment in Nigeria for the Q1 2023 which saw the unemployment rate of the Q4 of 2020 at 33.3% dropped to 4.1% (Q1 2023).

Under the new NBS methodology, not working in the past seven days, but actively searching for work in the past four weeks, while ready to start work means one is considered unemployed. Some experts have raised serious concerns regarding the new methodology adopted by the NBS while others, including the former Statistician-General of Federation/CEO of NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, have faulted it.

Essentially, this means the criteria for unemployment changed as some people who were previously considered to be unemployed are now categorised as employed. An explainer video by KAFTAN TV and Dataphyte published in August 2023 breaks down the methodology here.

Going by the NBS figures over the years, regardless of methodology, unemployment has never risen to 72% and unemployment stands at 4.2% for the most recent quarter reviewed in 2023.

 

VERDICT

The claim that 72 percent of Nigerians are unemployed is FALSE; the most recent data released by the NBS at the end of the second quarter of Year 2023 show that the unemployment rate is 4.2 per cent.

 

* This fact-check was written by Amadin Ogbewe, a fellow of the ICIR’s Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy project, supported by the German Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.

Amadin Ogbewe
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