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NBS clears air on independence of unemployment data

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has cleared the air on the influence of the Federal Government (FG) on its unemployment data.

Some news outlets had alleged that FG was frustrating the release of the data as it was not favourable to the government.

Head, Public Affairs and International Relations Unit of the bureau, Ichedi Joel, cleared that the allegations did not portray the true position why the unemployment data are yet to be released.

The bureau wishes to state unequivocally that the government has at no time intervened or obstructed our data dissemination schedule or processes. At the beginning of every year, the NBS makes available online, a data release calendar to the public.

“While we work continuously to meet up with these set targets, occasionally, due to several factors that play out during the course of the year, we may be unable to meet up with some dates.

“We do, however, make these reasons known to the public. But for the avoidance of doubt, at no point has the reason for missing a data release target been as a result of government intervening to stop the publication.”

However, the bureau disclosed that poor government revenue had led to late disbursement of funding to government agencies from the treasury, and like any other government agency, the bureau experienced the same problem, Punch reported.

He said, “Staff of the NBS have, however, continued to work and produce data as and when possible, as we recognize the importance of producing timely data to support the work of government.

“The NBS shall continue to work in line with its data production and dissemination mandate to support government decision-making, policy design, and monitoring.

“The bureau, however, welcomes constructive criticisms from stakeholders aimed at improving its processes, but not information aimed at distracting the bureau from performing its functions.”

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