“The vortexes in the Nigerian polity since 2015 show that NBS’ reports are actually a serial bearish performance report of the Buhari administration’s uncertain, high risk socioeconomic, political and security policies which make it difficult for any inclusive economy and sound ideas to germinate, grow, thrive and keep productive citizens busy”

There was neither mirth nor applause when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released Q4 2020 Report last week which showed that millions of Nigerian youths and persons within the workforce bracket have no jobs to keep them busy and contribute meaningfully to the economy.

If the present government is listening at all, the message is crystal clear: you have failed, therefore, sit up! Titled “Labour Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report”, NBS revealed unsurprising disconcerting figures which merely stated the obvious that the Nigerian economy under the present government is at the doldrums. The report stated that the “national unemployment rate rose from 27.1% in Q2, 2020 to 33.3% in Q4, 2020, while the underemployment rate decreased from 28.6% to 22.8%. A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1%. This means that 33.3% of the labour force in Nigeria or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week”.

Among the states of the federation, Imo, Adamawa and Cross Rivers top the list of states with the highest unemployment rate at 56.64%, 54.89% and 53.65% respectively. There is a significant rise in the unemployment rate among rural dwellers from 28.2% in Q2, 2020 to 34.5%, while at the urban level, it shot up to 31.3% from 26.4% in the quarter under review.

Furthermore, the report highlighted that “For the period under review, Q4, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 42.5% up from 34.9%, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group declined to 21.0% from 28.2% in Q2, 2020. These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings”, it stated. The vortexes in the Nigerian polity since 2015 show that NBS’ reports are actually a serial bearish performance report of the Buhari administration’s uncertain, high risk socioeconomic, political and security policies which make it difficult for any inclusive economy and sound ideas to germinate, grow, thrive and keep productive citizens busy. Nigerians should be spared of COVID-19 excuses.

The prices of oil are improving progressively, but Nigerians keep buying petroleum products at exorbitant costs, not to talk of a consistent illegal and unaccountable subsidy regime that never receives approval of the deaf and dumb statutory authority – the National Assembly. Or are we going to stir up the hornet’s nest afresh by removing the lead of controversies of unaccounted billions of recovered stolen public assets? How can any economy that is buffeted by myriads of insecurity issues such as insurgency, banditry, farmers/herders clashes, criminal mass abductions in schools and on the highways and vulnerable borders encourage investments and businesses to boom? Where has any economy done well in pitch darkness without electric power and other vital infrastructures such as good roads? How can companies that are closing up employ?


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