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Clem Agba: Nigeria’s economy grows despite global shocks

Prince Clem Agba, minister of state in charge of the federal budget and national planning, claims that the economy has grown despite global and local shocks.

Prince Clem Agba, minister of state in charge of the federal budget and national planning, claims that the economy has grown despite global and local shocks.

Agba discussed this at a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) event in Abuja devoted to raising awareness about the NLFS and the NLSS.

He noted that the current administration had made significant economic progress in education, healthcare, and citizen well-being.

Therefore, the minister, who was represented by Dr Faniran Sanjo, Director of the Ministry’s Social Development Department, asked Nigerians to concentrate on the current administration’s successes.

He included COVID-19, the Russian-Ukrainian dispute, security issues, and recent climate change tragedies as examples of global and local shocks.

Agba urged people to ignore the pessimistic view that the government had caused more people to fall into poverty or had taken no action to lessen the impact of global difficulties.

“My advice, therefore, is to focus more on comparative analysis of the situation in other countries, particularly in Africa and Europe, to appreciate the efforts of the government of Nigeria.

“For example, in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, inflation was reported at 40.4%, 31.7%, and 31.0%, respectively, in October 2022.

” While the inflation figure recorded in the UK was at its highest rate of 11.1 per cent, the highest since October 1981.”

He warned that Nigerian household consumption and poverty levels could suffer due to the high inflation rates experienced in the countries mentioned above.

“This will convince us that Nigeria is progressing if you compare some of the statistics by the NBS with other countries across the globe.”

The minister promised the people of Nigeria that the government would focus on the right parts of the economy to improve the lives of all Nigerians.

Agba stated that the NLFS and NLSS would significantly enhance the government’s existing data for policy dissemination and development across all relevant sectors.

The minister stated that the 20-hour-a-week employment definition needed to be reevaluated due to recent comments and objections from domestic and international users of Nigeria’s labour statistics.

” Consequently, working with the World Bank, the NBS engaged in a comprehensive process of reviewing and revising the labour force survey of Nigeria.”

“This one is more encompassing, yet it covers not only the concept but also sampling methods, data collecting, and methodology.”

” The outcome, therefore, had delivered a more realistic and internationally aligned definition of one hour a week and a data sample and data collection process for the NLFS.”

Prince Semiu Adeniran, the Federation’s Statistician-General, stated that the event’s goal was to educate the public on how the NLSS is run and how the NLFS has been improved.

According to Adeniran, the NLSS was a continuation of the previous round in 2018–2019, falling within the standard interval of every four to five years.

He said the two surveys had been tested and piloted in six states representing the country’s four geographic zones.

” While the NLFS is already collecting data in selected households across the country, the fieldwork for the NLSS will commence equally in all 36 states and the FCT.”

He explained that the World Bank was involved in the planning process for the two surveys and that cutting-edge tools and techniques were used in their creation and administration.

“While the NLSS exercise has largely maintained the same design as the previous round in 2018-2019, the NLFS has undergone more notable changes from previous rounds.”

“The major change to this round of the NLSS is the use of newly carved out digital enumeration area maps from the National Population Commission for the selection of clusters and subsequent household listing.”

“Also included in the NLSS survey questionnaire are new questions and modules on remittances, migration and absent household members, migration aspiration, social cohesion, petroleum subsidy, and subjective well-being.”

” The NLFS, however, has recorded more significant changes from how it was implemented previously.”

The statistician general has stated that the NLFS data was carefully picked from a sample of more than 35,000 households spread out over 12 months rather than the enormous 33,000 samples questioned every quarter.

He also mentioned that the redesigned instrument now includes new questions on people employed but not doing work, long-term unemployment, job satisfaction, discouraged job seekers, and data on decent work.

Adeniran claimed that by adopting the new concept and methodology for the NLFS, Nigeria would become an example for other African countries to follow.

“This is a major deal for the country, as we will be ensuring that the government and, indeed, the public always have reliable information on the health of the labour market.”

“This will help to support all the laudable initiatives and programmes designed to boost employment generation in Nigeria.”

Participants, notably those from state departments of local government and chieftaincy affairs, were urged to help the NBS educate their communities about the importance of these polls.

According to Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, people in Nigeria have lost faith in the government.

However, according to Chaudhuri, strong data use could help close the trust gap.

“This idea of using data robustly should be part of the solution to restore trust and faith in government.

“The importance and usage of data will only resonate if there is faith in the robustness of the data collected, and that is essential in the robustness, integrity and capability of the agency collecting the data.”

He urged people to question government choices and hold officials accountable based on the survey results as they became available.