The statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) are not for the tender-hearted. Inflation is on an upward swing, obvious in the price of goods in the open market, while a staggering 22 million Nigerians are jobless as unemployment rate hits 33.3%. Many think the figures are higher and the Peoples Democratic Party says figures shows the All Progressives Congress has been lying.
The NBS says the inflation rate increased in February by 0.86 per cent to 17.33 per cent from 16.47 per cent recorded in January.
The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for February 2021 released on Tuesday in Abuja.
The bureau added that CPI increased by 17.33 per cent (year-on-year) in February.
The unemployment rate in the country rose from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 33.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The lone voice of opposition party politics, the Peoples Democratic (PDP), in a Tuesday statement blames it on incompetence of the present administration, and fears there is no hope in sight with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in charge.
The party, obviously latching on to the fearful statistics to play politics, says the report on the unemployment rate in the country is a direct confirmation that the much-orchestrated claims of massive job creation by the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are mere statistic hoax being used to deceive Nigerians.
It adds that the report by the NBS that no fewer than 21.7 million able bodied Nigerians have lost their jobs and means of livelihood while many more have become underemployed under what it describes as “the APC misrule further shows the despairing and despondent situation that APC and its administration has brought our nation.”
The rise in unemployment from the alarming 27.1 percent in Q2, 2020 to 33.3 percent in Q4 2020, despite the bogus claims of the APC administration, confirms that indeed, there is no hope in sight under the Buhari Presidency and the APC.
According to the NBS, in its report on ‘Labour force Statistics: Unemployment and underemployment report- Abridged labour force survey under COVID-19 (Q4, 2020) that this translates to 23.19 million unemployed people.
“During the reference period, the computed national unemployment rate rose from 27.1 per cent in Q2, 2020 to 33.3 per cent in Q4, 2020, while the underemployment rate decreased from 28.6 per cent to 22.8 per cent.
“A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1 per cent.
“This means that 33.3 per cent of the labour force in Nigeria or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by our definition in Nigeria.
“This is an additional 1,422,772 persons from the number in that category in Q2, 2020.
“Using the international definition of unemployment, the rate was computed to be 17.5 per cent.”
PDP states further: “It is clear that the direct cause of the escalating unemployment is the incompetence as well as the widespread corruption and treasury looting in the Buhari administration, where APC leaders are reported to have looted over N15 trillion, which should have been used to create wealth, develop our country and provide jobs for our citizens
“It is rather distressing that, as shown in the NBS report, that unemployment rate among young and very enterprising Nigerians, within the age of 15 to 34 years, had risen to 42.5 percent; a revelation that put a lie to claims by the Buhari administration, of mass employment, job opportunities and economic empowerment of our youths.
“It is now obvious that under President Buhari and the APC, the Federal Government created jobs only in their fake statistics while in reality, they are taking no concrete steps to empower our hard working citizens.
“More frustrating is that the APC and its administration have promoted a huge racket where Nigerians are deceived to pay for non-existent jobs in ministries, department and agencies at alarming costs, ranging between N2 million to 6 million, depending on the agency.
“The APC administration, in its corruption, is allowing such evil enterprise, while millions of Nigerians are weeping on the streets after being defrauded of their hard-earned money, life saving and pensions of aged parents by job fraudsters in official circles.
“The only achievement by the APC administration is the impoverishing of Nigerians and turning of our dear nation of hitherto very happy and prosperous people, into world’s poverty capital.
“Our party charges President Muhammadu Buhari to accept his incompetence, take urgent steps to recover the over N15 trillion allegedly stolen by his party leaders and allow more competent hands to revamp our economy before it is too late.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.
The report said increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.
“On month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.54 per cent in February, this is 0.05 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in January (1.49 per cent),” said the report.
The NBS said the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending February over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 14.05 per cent.
This, it said, showed 0.43 per cent point from 13.62 per cent recorded in January.
According to the report, the urban inflation rate increased by 17.92 per cent (year-on-year) in February from 17.03 per cent recorded in January.
It added that the rural inflation rate increased by 16.77 per cent in February from 15.92 per cent in January.
It said on a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.58 per cent, up by 0.06 rate recorded in, while the rural index also rose by 1.50 per cent in February, up by 0.04 per cent that was recorded in January (1.46) per cent.
“The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 14.66 per cent in February.
“This is higher than 14.23 per cent reported in January, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in February is 13.48 per cent compared to 13.04 per cent recorded in January,” the report stated.
It added that the composite food index rose by 21.79 per cent in February compared to 20.57 per cent in January.
It said the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, food products, fruits, vegetables, fish and oils and fats.
It added that on month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.89 per cent in, up by 0.06 per cent points from 1.83 per cent recorded in January.
The bureau said that ”All items less farm produce” or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 12.38 per cent in February, up by 0.53 per cent when compared with 11.85 per cent recorded in January.
“On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.21 per cent in February.
“This was down by 0.05 per cent when compared with 1.26 per cent recorded in January.
“The highest increases were recorded in prices of passenger transport by air, medical services, miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, hospital services and passenger transport by road.
“Others are pharmaceutical products, paramedical services, repair of furniture, vehicle spare parts, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, motor cars, dental services and hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment,” NBS stated.
For state profile, the NBS said in February, all items inflation on year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi (24.73 per cent), Bauchi (22.92 per cent) and Ebonyi (20.45 per cent).
Meanwhile, Enugu (14.73 per cent), Kwara (14.25 per cent) and Cross River (12.97 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline year-on-year inflation.
On month-on-month basis, however, February all items inflation was highest in Kogi (3.25 per cent), Ondo (2.46 per cent) and Kebbi (2.43 per cent).
However, Kwara at 0.84 per cent, Kano (0.70 per cent) and Oyo (0.38 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline month on month.
For food inflation, on a year-on-year basis, it was highest in Kogi (30.47 per cent), Ebonyi (25.73 per cent) and Sokoto (25.68 per cent).
The report said Gombe (19.32 per cent), Bauchi (18.74 per cent) and Akwa Ibom (18.7 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in year on year inflation.
On month-on-month basis, however, food inflation was highest in Kogi (3.34 per cent), Ondo (3.33 per cent) and Ebonyi (3.26 per cent).
It added that Benue and Niger recorded 0.90 per cent, Kano (0.7per cent) and Oyo (0.09 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month food inflation