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Unemployment Rate: Financial economist faults NBS revised methodology

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Unemployment

A financial economist, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, has faulted the methodology adopted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which puts Nigeria’s unemployment rate at 41 per cent in the first quarter of 2023.

Uwaleke, who is the Director, Institute of Capital Market Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

According to him, the figure may not be the true reflection of the unemployed in the country.

He said that the methodology could also lead to wrong policy decisions by the government.

Uwaleke said, “I think the unemployment number of 4.1 per cent for quarter one in 2023, recently announced by the NBS, may not reflect the true situation on ground owing to a number of reasons.

“The first reason is the low sample size of under 40,000 persons used in the survey as well as the adoption of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines for employment computation.

“This considers employment from the perspective of persons of working age who are engaged in some type of jobs for at least one hour in a week for pay or profit compared to the old methodology adopted by the NBS.

“This new methodology which includes apprentices, tantamounts to significantly lowering the bar and could lead to wrong policy decisions by the government.”

The expert said much as the ILO guidelines provided a basis for global comparison, it was important that Nigeria adopted country-specific guidelines which closely reflect unique employment conditions prevalent in the country.

Recall that NBS arrived at the new unemployment rate in a report it released on Thursday, titled, ‘Nigeria Labour Force Statistics Report Q4 2022 and Q1 2023″.

Unemployment stood at 5.3 per cent in fourth quarter 2022 and 4.1 per cent in first quarter 2023.

This aligns with the rates in other developing countries where work, even if only for a few hours and in low-productivity jobs.

It is to make ends meet, particularly in the absence of any social protection for the unemployed.

Also, 22.3 per cent of the working age population were out of labour force in fourth quarter 2022, while it was 20.1 per cent in first quarter, 2023.

The rate of informal employment among the employed Nigerians was 93.5 per cent in fourth quarter 2022 and 92.6 per cent in first quarter 2023.

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I Still Get Attacked By People – Yakubu Aiyegbeni Reveals

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In a recent interview, former Nigerian football star Yakubu Aiyegbeni has revealed that he continues to receive messages and criticisms from fans, years after his infamous miss during the 2010 FIFA World Cup match against South Korea.

The moment, etched into football history, occurred during Nigeria’s crucial group stage game against South Korea. With the score tied at 2-2 and a spot in the knockout stages on the line, Aiyegbeni found himself with what seemed like an open goal opportunity. However, to the shock of fans worldwide, he missed the chance, leaving Nigeria unable to secure the much-needed victory.

Despite this moment happening over a decade ago, Aiyegbeni expressed his surprise at the ongoing messages he receives about the miss. “I still get messages from people, different messages,” he stated in the interview. “It’s surprising how that moment still sticks with people, even after all these years.”

The striker, who had a successful career playing for clubs like Everton and Portsmouth in the English Premier League, admitted that the miss was a tough moment in his career. “Of course, it was a big moment, and I wish it had gone differently. But in football, you have highs and lows,” he remarked.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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