Wednesday, November 29, 2023


NBS distances self from staff’s ‘worst ever statistician-general’ comment on Yemi Kale

NBS distances self from staff’s ‘worst ever statistician-general’ comment on Yemi Kale
August 29
19:39 2023

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has distanced itself from comments by Ibrahim Wakili, its head of communication and public relations department, that Yemi Kale was the “worst ever statistician-general” of the agency.

The management of the bureau took the position in a statement on Tuesday.

On Monday, Kale, former statistician-general of the federation, faulted the new methodology used in computing a new job report that pegged the unemployment rate at 4.1 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 and 5.3 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2022.

He said during his time at the NBS, the committee in charge of reviewing the minimum number of work hours to count as employed, felt one hour did not make sense because the income generated within that time frame was not necessarily liveable.

Kale said he had refused to change the country’s unemployment data-gathering methodology because it contradicted the system Nigeria operates, and “did not make any sense in terms of providing the information that our policymakers need”.


Responding to Kale’s opinion in an interview with Punch, Wakili said times have changed and some Nigerians now earn from working for just one hour.

The NBS communication head also said the bureau was in a bad state under the former statistician-general.

“In my 30 years of service, he is the worst ever, and the youngest served statistician-general we ever had. Everything was crippled, not even light in the office. The money the government spent on NBS, we did not see anything,” he told Punch.


Reacting to the comments, the bureau in a statement on Tuesday, dissociated itself from Wakili’s response in respect to the recently published unemployment data.

“…In respect of the recently released quarter four, 2022 and quarter one, 2023 Nigeria labour force survey results, we wish to categorically state that the reaction of that individual to the interview granted by the former Statistician-General are his personal views and do not represent that of the Bureau,” the statement reads.

“In this regard, management of the bureau wishes to dissociate from the response of the individual as published in the paper and the issues raised therein in its entirety.”


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