Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the 2019 general election, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of hiding the nation’s unemployment data.
Atiku in a statement on Thursday, November 15, 2018, by his presidential campaign organisation said the Buhari administration had “failed” to provide the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the funds it needed to perform its functions.
The former Vice President said the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government was in panic mode because of the “unprecedented unemployment numbers” in the country and desperate to hide that information from the public ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“We notes with dismay the testimony of the Statistician General of the Federation, Mr. Yemi Kale, that the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, is unable to release the annual unemployment report that it is mandated by law to produce, because the Buhari administration has not provided the NBS with the funds it needs to perform this essential service.
“If the Buhari administration can afford ₦1.1 billion to fumigate the office of the National Security Adviser, if they can afford ₦35 million every month to feed Ibrahim El Zakzaky, then they can afford to release funds for the NBS to perform its statutory duty of releasing the nation’s job report.
“President Buhari promised to create three million jobs per annum during the 2015 presidential campaign season, but has ended up losing over three million jobs every year since he was sworn in on May 29, 2015.
“Since the Buhari administration came to being, 11 million Nigerians have lost their jobs and in December of 2017, the NBS under Yemi Kale, announced that 7.9 million Nigerians lost their jobs in the 21 months period under review.
“It is safe to draw the conclusion that if the NBS had been funded and able to release the now due 2018 job reports, the total figure of jobs lost under the present administration may climb higher than the present 11 million jobs.
“Thus, we can understand why this failed administration is desperate to cover that information up, however, the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation insists that Nigerians deserve to know the truth no matter how unpalatable it may be,” Atiku said.