By Bimbola Oyesola
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment at the weekend said there was no conflict between the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in relation to national unemployment data.
In a statement by Charles Akpan, deputy director, press and public relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, the ministry explained that the minister had, in clarifying a question during a private visit to his office by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria( CIPMN), brought to the fore an underplayed difference between the method engaged by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for unemployment data collection as well as assessment, and that used by the NBS.
The statement read, “He further informed his visitors of a meeting with the World Bank aimed at verifying these areas of differences, harmonizing them so as to ensure that figures brought out by any of the parties, the ILO or the NBS, would be an unemployment figure that truly reflects the peculiarities of the Nigerian nation.
“The reason is that, going by the ILO standard for unemployment statistical evaluation, there are some parameters, which it considers obsolete, hence excluded, but still obtain in Nigeria. This is the essence of the meeting, which held yesterday.”
The statement added that the minister did not refute nor brought up issues about the statistics released by the NBS beyond bringing into reckoning, the ILO parameter that situates national peculiarities.
“And this does not in any way nullify the existing cordiality and cooperation between the office of the Minister of Labour and Employment and the NBS as part of the same government.”