- Economist and investment banker Atedo Peterside has given his opinion about Nigeria's current unemployment rate
- Peterside calls into question the new rate as he compares it with that of the more industrialised South Africa
- The new 4.1% unemployment rate has sparked mixed reactions from several social commentators
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Nigerian billionaire and co-founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank has reacted to the sudden drop in Nigeria's unemployment rate.
Peterside made his reaction known via his official Twitter page following the Nigeria Labour Force Survey (NLFS) report for Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the World Bank and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
It would be recalled that a new report released on Thursday, August 24, 2023, put Nigeria's unemployment at 4.1%, a sharp drop from 33.3% recorded in Q4 2020.
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The new unemployment rate has sparked mixed reactions on social media and from different quarters, with many questioning the new methodology used by the NBS.
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Atedo Peterside dismisses NBS' new unemployment rate
In his post, Peterside argued the possibility of Nigeria's unemployment rate dropping to 4.1% when South Africa, a more industrialised economy, has an unemployment rate of 32.6%.
According to @StatiSense, South Africa's unemployment rate is 32.6%, we (Nigeria) have brought ours down to 4.1%. The only catch is that we brought unemployment crashing down because @NBS_Nigeria changed methodology/definition of unemployment. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
The investment banker and economist is known to be very vocal about Nigeria's economy, politics and social happenings.
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Reacting to the declining investments in the Nigerian economy, Peterside, in a previous report by Legit.ng, asserted that Nigeria's economy has been rigged in favour of a few, forcing many prospective foreign investors to hold their funds.
New unemployment rate in line with international standards - NBS
The NBS has reacted to criticisms that have followed the announcement of the latest unemployment rate.
Speaking on a televised interview show on Arise TV, Samiu Adeyemi Adeniran, CEO of NBS, said that it improved its methodology and data-gathering approach in accordance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria.
According to him, this revised approach now considers individuals over the age of 64 while excluding those who are not currently participating in the labour force or have no intention of doing so.
Before the working age population was between 15-64 years, whereas it was only in Nigeria we were using that and maybe in one or two other countries. but all our neighbouring countries, Ghana, Togo, Benin republic, Cameroon, they aren’t using that. That is an old standard that is set by ILO, which Nigeria is a signatory to that convention.
The realisation that individuals continue to work beyond the age of 64 and significantly contribute to the nation's economy prompted a global consensus.
Over 26 other African nations have already embraced this innovative approach, and, notably, Nigeria is lagging in its implementation. Presently, the criterion includes individuals aged 15 and above.
Stanbic IBTC founder criticises FG over $1.5 billion budgeted for refinery repair
Peterside, a prominent banker, has urged the government to reconsider its decision to release these funds. He has publicly criticised the move to refurbish the deteriorated refinery, deeming it a bold and costly endeavour.
He further recommended that the government subject the plan to a transparent public discussion before allocating over N600 billion towards the refinery.