President Muhammadu Buhari says the recent statistics reeled out by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that his administration is doing well.
Buhari said this on Wednesday during a Gala Night organised by beneficiaries of the government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
The President said this barely hours after the NBS announced that the number of unemployed persons of working age had risen to 20.9 million.
He said that statistics from the NBS has confirmed that his administration’s policies are yielding results.
Buhari said he inherited, “A broken system in the agricultural sector in 2015”.
After hearing testimonies from some rice farmers, the President said, “Seeing your faces and hearing your stories give me hope. Today, we are on the track to achieving an all-inclusive economy.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had said Buhari had ordered the Statistician-General of the NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, to change the high unemployment statistics and reflect the rising rate of employment in the agriculture sector.
Shehu said during a recent meeting with the Federal Executive Council, Kale admitted that the NBS was only focusing on the creation of white collar jobs and not the agriculture sector and the informal sector.
“Rice Producers Association of Nigeria made the open claim and nobody has challenged them up until the time that we speak, that they had created 12 million new jobs,” Shehu had said.
Kale, however, denied ever making such a claim.
The United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade had said last month that Nigeria imported three million metric tons of rice in 2018.
The US report had said the import figure is 400,000 metric tonnes higher than the quantity of the product that was imported in 2017.
The report also stated that Nigeria’s local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared to the situation in 2015.
The report ran contrary to several claims by the Nigerian Government that local rice production had increased while importation had dropped by up to 90 per centne.