The number of unemployed Nigerians has risen to 20.9 million from 17.6 million, fresh data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown.
The country’s unemployment rate now stands at 23.1 per cent, up from the previous rate of 18.8 per cent.
Expectedly, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is latching onto the latest damning reports to pound the present administration.
In a statement by his spokesman, Maxi Paul Ibe, Atiku said he was not surprised by the report.
His statement reads in full: “We expected a terrible job report, particularly with the comment on live television from the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, that President Buhari had ordered the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, to fudge the latest job reports.
“However, the job report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday November 19, 2018, is not just terrible, it is catastrophic. They show that under the All Progressives Congress administration, a whopping 20.93 million Nigerians have lost their jobs!
“To put this in perspective the unemployed population in Nigeria is now twice the population of Benin Republic!
“Nigeria cannot continue like this, especially with an administration that continues to blame others for things that they should find solutions for with the latest ridiculous episode being President Buhari’s blaming of former President Jonathan for his own inability to appoint ministers for six months, an action that is directly responsible for the sorry state of unemployment in Nigeria.
“We urge Nigerians to note that a President who can’t create jobs or wealth in his own private business cannot create jobs or wealth for the public because you cannot give what you do not have.
“Right now, Nigeria is the world headquarters of extreme poverty and our main challenge is jobs. Atiku Abubakar is an expert at job and wealth creation having created 50,000 jobs in his own private capacity.
“Whatever is entrusted into the hands of Waziri Atiku Abubakar blooms. This is a man who will never blame others and will always accept responsibility for changing things. Nigeria needs jobs and Atiku means JOBS.
“Finally, we would like to commend the Statistician General of the Federation for having the courage to stand up to President Buhari by releasing the inconvenient truth about the state of unemployment in Nigeria.”
The report released on Wednesday, contained the employment trends from Q4 2017 to Q3 2018.
The working-age population up from 111.1m in Q3 2017 to 115.4m in Q3 2018, while Labour force moved from 85.08m in Q3 2017 to 90.47m in Q3 2018. Total Employed persons(Full+Partime) up from 69.09m in Q3 2017 to 69.54m in Q3 2018.