The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, has blamed the inability of the National Bureau of Statistics to release the unemployment report on lack of funding.
He said this on his verified Twitter handle while responding to claims that he had been asked not to release the data due to claims that they were not favourable to the Federal Government.
The unemployment report which shows the level of job losses, those that are unemployed and underemployed, is usually released every quarter.
The last time the NBS released the data was in December last year where it was revealed that between January and September of 2017, a total number of 4.07 million Nigerians became unemployed.
Defending the inability of the NBS to release the report since the beginning of this year, Kale said it was due to lack of funding.
He dismissed claims in some quarters that he was under pressure to manipulate the report for political reasons.
He said, “I know it’s election time but I’ve said this repeatedly. Nobody is calling me to manipulate any data or not to release any data.
“The work can’t be completed due to budgetary releases. It’s not hard to confirm when last we got data funding and how much.”
There had been concerns that the country’s unemployment rate may have risen above the third quarter 2017 figure of 18.8 per cent due to the harsh economic climate.
The bureau had in the third quarter 2017 report, stated that the number of Nigerians that became unemployed rose from 11.92 million in the first quarter of last year to 13.58 million and 15.99 million in the second and third quarters respectively.
It said between the second quarter and third quarter of last year, the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million to 111.1 million.