From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Three years after the last survey which produced the controversial unemployment data of 33.3 per cent, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has started a new corrective labour force survey.
Speaking at the National Labour Force Survey (LFS) training of enumerators (ToE), at the weekend, in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Statistician General of the Federation (SG) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Prince Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, said that since the release of that report, which as usual, was met with rebuff from some sections of the wide array of users, and applause from other sections, there became a need to re-evaluate the methodology and process deployed in conducting the LFS in Nigeria.
“The aim of this re-evaluation was two-pronged, on one hand was to ensure that the design and methodology is in line with international best practice and locally relevant, and on the other hand, to ensure that a production process was robust enough to produce estimates on a sustainable basis (avoiding periodic gaps), and also, produce more labour market indicators and analysis that will inform government about the employment and job situation in Nigeria. Following the commissioning of this review, we have been working assiduously with Staff of the World Bank to come up with a reliable and comprehensive process and design, that will satisfy the needs of all users, address concerns of quality, address questions on seasonality, reduce proxy responses, cost-effective, and eliminate gaps in the series going forward” he said.
Following some noticeable lapses in the last survey, the bureau has designed a new approach which involves a 12-month long method of data collection.
“To this end, we have designed a new approach for the conduct of the NLFS survey in Nigeria. This new approach involves a 12-month-long method of data collection, with a streamlined workforce, manageable sample size and an enhanced quality assurance mechanism built into the process. The outcome of the review has brought about new additions to the instrument, capturing information on persons employed but not at work, long-term unemployment, job satisfaction, discouraged job seekers, and information on decent work, which is one of the indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals 8 (SDG Goal 8)” Adeniran noted.
Accordingly, he pointed out, the management of the bureau working with World Bank thought it wise to bring all the field personnel selected for the exercise to one location for the training of enumerators.
“Being the maiden round using this approach, all efforts are geared towards ensuring that everything humanly possible is done to guarantee the quality of the results and realise the objectives of the exercise. With this approach, which is similar to the last Nigerian Living Standard Survey (NLSS) conducted in 2018/19, whose results received widespread commendations, is expected to produce national figures on a quarterly basis, with interesting labour market statistics, while a full state-level disaggregated report will be published at the end of the 12-months of data collection.
“Therefore, given the enormous importance the bureau and indeed, the country attach to this exercise, and the amount of time and resources committed to the process thus far, I want to encourage and strongly urge you to take this assignment seriously. No laxity will be tolerated from anyone. Everyone is expected to follow all the laid-down guidelines and protocols for the survey, so that we can have the best chance of realising the desired results. This caution does not only go to the enumerators and supervisors on the field, but also to the monitors, data assistants and data editors working remotely on this exercise. It is only when we all play our respective roles that the right results and outcomes will be achieved for the country” the SG, explained.