The Atiku Campaign Organisation has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of deliberately covering up unemployment figures to protect his re-election bid.
In a statement on Thursday, the organisation accused the Buhari-led administration of deliberately not providing funds for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to release the report which is long overdue.
Yemi Kale, the statistician-general of the federation, had said the federal government has not released money for the NBS to complete the unemployment report.
Its been a year since the bureau released Nigeria’s unemployment figures, which are usually released quarterly, with speculations that publishing the data will work against Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
The Atiku Campaign organisation said part of Buhari’s campaign promise in 2015 was to create three million jobs yearly, but the current administration has instead recorded losses equaling the numbers promised.
The statement read: “We note with dismay the testimony of the Statistician General of the Federation, Mr. Yemi Kale, that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is unable to release the annual unemployment report that it is mandated by law to produce, because the Buhari administration has not provided the NBS with the funds it needs to perform this essential service.
“If the Buhari administration can afford ₦1.1 billion to fumigate the office of the National Security Adviser, if they can afford ₦3.5 million every month to feed Ibrahim El Zakzaky, then they can afford to release funds for the NBS to perform its statutory duty of releasing the nation’s job report.
“President Buhari promised to create three million jobs per annum during the 2015 presidential campaign season, but has ended up losing over three million jobs every year since he was sworn in on May 29, 2015.
“Since the Buhari administration came to being, 11 million Nigerians have lost their jobs and in December of 2017, the NBS under Yemi Kale, announced that 7.9 million Nigerians lost their jobs in the 21 months period under review.
“It is safe to draw the conclusion that if the NBS had been funded and able to release the now due 2018 job reports, the total figure of jobs lost under the present administration may climb higher than the present 11 million jobs.
“Thus, we can understand why this failed administration is desperate to cover that information up, however, the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation insists that Nigerians deserve to know the truth no matter how unpalatable it may be.”