Statistician-General of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, has reacted to comment by the presidency that his agency’s high unemployment statistics was wrong.
On Sunday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme said Kale failed to reflect the rising rate of employment in the agriculture sector.
Shehu said during a recent meeting with the Federal Executive Council, Kale admitted that the NBS was only focusing on the creation of white collar jobs and not the agriculture sector and the informal sector.
He said, “There was a departure last week. The NBS chief had addressed the federal cabinet and he made the admission himself that they had concentrated analysis over time on white collar jobs and they had not taken cognisance of job creation in areas of agriculture.
“Rice Producers Association of Nigeria made the open claim and nobody has challenged them up until the time that we speak, that they had created 12 million new jobs.
“When he finished addressing the federal cabinet last week, the government asked the DG of the NBS, go out there and tell the Nigerian public, you are just saying to us now that Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Ebonyi are recording the lowest unemployment rates in the country on account of agriculture.
“So, the point is that the data collected which has formed a judgement on the data that have been passed and misleading and I think there is now a convergence. The data has been unfair to the administration, it had ignored job creation in the areas of agriculture but that is now being integrated and Nigerians will be impressed.”
Reacting on Monday, Kale stated that he never told he federal government that NBS concentrated analysis on white collar jobs.
He spoke via his Twitter account @sgyemikale.
Kale tweeted: “Assuming what you claimed was said was actually said, then I make it very clear that neither the statistician-general nor NBS ever made any such admission at any time to anybody and the unemployment computations do take into account all sectors, age groups and both rural and urban areas.”.