FACT CHECK: Femi Adesina lied! 30 million Nigerians were not unemployed in 2015

April 1, 2021

President  Muhammadu Buhari most senior media aide, Femi Adesina, on Sunday, March 28, 2021, made a false claim on the country’s unemployment rate in 2015. 

Mr Adesina while speaking on Channel TV’s programme Sunday Politics claimed that 30 million Nigerians were unemployed in 2015 before the emergence of Mr Buhari as president. 

“Buildup of the 2015 election, when APC was campaigning, the figure that was used by the then-candidate Buhari, was that a minimum of 30 million were out of jobs, were unemployed particularly youth and that his government was going to do something about that. As of 2014/2015 the figure used for the campaign was 30 million unemployed Nigerians, it’s on record.”

He disclosed this in response to the question asked about the frightening unemployment rate under this current administration.  

Findings by this newspaper, however, proved that Mr Adesina was not only economical with the truth but lied in its totality. 

According to Statista, the unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 7.54% in the first quarter of 2015, it moved to 8.19% in the second quarter, 9.9% in the third quarter, and 10.44% in the fourth quarter, using the working-age population (age 15-64).

Another data from Macro Trends revealed that the unemployment rate for 2015 stood at 4.31% while  a report by ProShare showed that unemployment in the first quarter(Q1) of 2015 rose to 7.5%. 

The data explained that only 17.7 million people between ages 15‐65 were either unemployed or underemployed in the labour force during this period. 

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) website did not have an unemployment figure for 2015. The available data was from 2017- 2018.

Unemployment rate is calculated as a percentage of the number of unemployed persons in the labour force i.e. Unemployment Rate = 100 × Unemployed Population/ Labor Force Population. 

Considering details gathered from various sources on the country’s unemployment rate in 2015, Mr Adesina was wrong to have said N30 million Nigerians were unemployed in 2015. 

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