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FG reduces man-hour benchmark from 40 to 20


Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale

Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale

THE Federal Government, through the office of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has announced a major policy reversal, saying Nigeria’s official man hours of labour for classification as employed is no longer 40 hours but 20 hours and upwards.

Giving an insight into the major reclassification of the nation’s man hour benchmark in Abuja, Director, Real Sector and Household Statistics Department, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Isiaka Olarewaju, noted that the official review of the methodology for computing Nigeria’s labour statistics was in line with International Labour Organization (ILO) requirements that the review be done.

According to him, the review has given rise to an overhaul of the nation’s entire labour statistics. He stressed that as a consequence, Nigeria now a totally new labour statistics in addition to having the unemployment figures re-measured over the last five years.

“The review is the outcome of the national stakeholder’s committee which studied and reviewed the definition, concept and methology used by the National Bureau of Statistics. It was the recommendation of the committee to review the number of hours of work downward to include those that have worked for 20 hours or more. Before the review, Nigeria’s bench mark for measuring employment was 40 hours of work,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, has refuted figures earlier quoted that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter (Q1 2015) of the year dropped to 3.86 per cent as against the high of 5.94 per cent recorded in a corresponding period in 2014.

He said instead that the factual GDP number for Q1 2015 is 3.96 per cent, adding that the correction was necessary to properly guide users and policy makers for precision.

On the man-hours, under the new regime, a review of the unemployment figures showed a drop in unemployment figures over the last five years. For instance, in 2010, the old unemployment rate was 21.4 per cent but now recalculated to 5.1 per cent under the new benchmark. Whereas under the ILO rating, the number went further down to 1.9 per cent.

In 2011,the previous national unemployment rate was 23.9 per cent, but now 6.0 per cent after recalibration, while the ILO number stood at 2.2 per cent

In 2012 however, although unemployment rate was previously captured as 27.4 per cent, it came to a low 10.6 per cent using the new formula of 20 hours and above. ILO numbers were lower with 7.6 per cent.

In 2013, the unemployment rate was 24.7 per cent, but under the new scale, it dropped to 10.0 per cent, while the ILO figures showed even lower numbers of 7.1 per cent.

In the first quarter of 2014, Nigeria’s unemployment numbers stood at 25.4 per cent, while the new is now 7.8 per cent, whereas the ILO numbers showed 4.8 per cent rate.

In the second quarter of 2014 unemployment rate was 25.2 per cent, but lowly 7.4 per cent in the new rule. An ILO figure was 4.6 per cent.

In the third quarter of 2014, unemployment numbers was 25.1 per cent; new is 9.7 per cent, while ILO rate stood at 6.8 per cent. But the fourth quarter of 2014, unemployment rate was 24.3 per cent, new became 6.4 per cent, while ILO rate was 2.1 per cent.

Kale, who in his remark described the review as done to place Nigeria on the same pedestal with other major countries of the world, said the recalibration of the nation’s unemployment number carried out under the legal mandate of the Statistics Act to unilaterally determine appropriate statistical methodology for the country.

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