Garba Shehu, special assistant to the president on media and publicity, and Yemi Kale, the statistician-general of the federation, have disagreed over methods of tracking job creation and unemployment numbers in Nigeria.
Speaking on Channels TV Sunrise Daily, Shehu claimed that Yemi Kale, who doubles as the CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), told the Federal Executive Council that the NBS concentrates on white collar jobs when preparing its jobs report.
But the NBS boss has denied the claim, saying such never happened.
“The NBS chief had addressed the federal cabinet and he made the admission that they had concentrated analysis over time on white collar jobs that they had not taken cognisance of job creation in areas of agriculture,” Shehu said.
“The rice farmers association of Nigeria made the open claim and nobody has challenged them up to the time that we speak that they had created 12m new jobs.
“When he finished addressing the federal cabinet last week, the government asked the DG of the NBS, go out there and tell Nigerian public. You are just telling us now that Kebbi and Ebonyi are reporting the lowest unemployment rate in the country on account of agriculture.”
“So, I think the data collected on the bases of which some of the judgement has been passed that is misleading,” Shehu added.
“The data has been unfair to this administration; they had ignored job creation in the area of agriculture. If you are talking about job losses, no, we have created at least 12m new jobs in the area of agriculture.”
When the Presidency claims were brought to the attention of the NBS boss on Twitter, he said he made no such submissions to anybody at any time.
His words: “Assuming what you claim was said was actually said then I make it very clear that neither the statistician-general nor NBS ever made any such admission at any time to anybody.”