Nigeria’s two dominant parties have again engaged in trade blame over the surge of unemployment rate in the country as released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS, in its latest labour force report released on Monday, pegged Nigeria’s unemployment rate at 33.3 per cent, a direct indictment on the country’s political leadership.
Breaking down the figure in its report, the Bureau said 23.2 million out of the estimated 69.7 million people in the labour force are unemployed.
Pushing aside the breakdown of the disappointing figure and its accumulated force from different states in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , on Tuesday, said the figure undermined the “much-orchestrated claims of massive job creation by the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
The NBS released figure indicates that Nigeria’s unemployment rate has become more than quadrupled since 2016, a year after the APC clinched power from the PDP and also slipped into economic recession.
“The rise in unemployment from the alarming 27.1 percent in Q2, 2020 to 33.3 percent in Q4 2020, despite the bogus claims of the APC administration, confirms that indeed, there is no hope in sight under the Buhari Presidency and the APC.
“It is clear that the direct cause of the escalating unemployment is the incompetence as well as the widespread corruption and treasury looting in the Buhari administration, where APC leaders are reported to have looted over N15 trillion, which should have been used to create wealth, develop our country and provide jobs for our citizens,” the PDP said.
The above stance was reiterated by the party’s national chair, Uche Secondus, when he received the report of the 2019 Election Review Committee at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
“We need to warn that the only thing keeping this country alive today is the fact that APC will be history by 2023. They are aware of this reality and they are trying to use their usual propaganda to create a different image of themselves, but Nigeria knows better and cannot be fooled again,” Mr Secondus said, alleging the APC of obstructing conduct of credible elections.
However, the ruling APC in its reaction signed by its interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, on Wednesday, aligned the cause of the unemployment surge to outbreak of COVID-19, a circumstance he said the current administration has managed well.
“Nigeria is no island. We suffered our fair share of the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on livelihoods and jobs. Commendably, President Buhari showed leadership in cushioning the effects and guiding the country out of the economic challenges.
“No government in the country’s history has systematically put in place measures to create jobs and alleviate poverty like the President Buhari government,” the party argued, highlighting the failures of the PDP administrations side-by-side Mr Buhari’s achievements in office.
Challenging its counterpart to argue with facts, the APC highlighted job-racketeering, misappropriation and diversion of public funds among other alleged anomalies of the PDP’s 16-years governance.