While addressing journalists on Thursday, Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, said President Muhammadu Buhari has created seven million jobs since assuming office in 2015.
Ngige argued that the administration has created millions of jobs from the N-Power programme.
“We promised jobs when we came on board, but what has happened is that people tried to quantify jobs in terms of ‘white collar’ jobs for graduates from universities, polytechnic but they don’t want to look at the ‘blue collar’ jobs,” the minister said.
“Agriculture and its chains alone have created more than five to seven million jobs. Talk in terms of rice; from rice tilling, harvesting, sending to the paddies, mills, and even where people are making the jute bags, transportation, people are getting jobs. So, that value chain alone from agric is enormous. Take the N-Power, we have created millions of jobs from here.”
The N-power Volunteers Scheme is one of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIP) which began in December 2016.
The SIP was part of the campaign promises of the All Progressive Congress, APC and it has four components.
These are: the Home Grown School Feeding Programme for public primary schools; the Conditional Cash Transfer to less privileged; N-Power for unemployed graduates; and the Government Enterprises Entrepreneurship Programme, GEEP, to encourage market women, artisans and traders
How many people have benefitted from N-power?
“The N-Power Volunteer Corp involves a massive deployment of 500,000 trained graduates who will assist to improve the inadequacies in our public services in education, health and civic education,” a portion of the ‘About Us’ section of the N-Power website read.
A video on the N-Power YouTube page, which was posted on June 11, also gives the same figure.
“Through the N-Power corp programme, the federal government has already engaged 200,000 unemployed graduates between 18 and 35 years. Now, the federal government is engaging 300,000 more volunteers,” it said in the video.
And other jobs?
Data made available by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on job creation show the following: 141,368 jobs were created in the second quarter of 2015, around the period when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, and 475,180 jobs were created the third quarter of 2015. The total number of new employment recorded was 499,521 jobs.
In the first quarter of 2016, the total number of jobs generated was 79,469. In the second quarter, the total number was 155,444. In the third quarter of 2016, 187,226 jobs followed. This brings the total as at the third quarter of 2016 to 1,538,208.
There are no NBS statistics for thefourth quarter of 2016 and the first three quarters of 2017 so far, which further casts doubts on the authenticity of Ngige’s claim. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that 5 million jobs were created, going by the pattern since 2015.
According to the methodology provided by the NBS, the survey takes into account the formal, informal and public sector jobs.
“Formal jobs refer to employment generated in establishments that employ 10 people and above, or formal professional services that employ less than 10 persons,” NBS said.
“Informal jobs are those generated by individuals or businesses employing less than 10 or those businesses operating with little or no structure e.g. Agriculture, Wholesale and retail trade.
“The public institutions are the government ministries, departments, agencies at federal, state and local government levels.”
CONCLUSION: NGIGE SEXED UP THE FIGURES!
The figures show that the minister’s statement about N-power creating “millions of jobs” is incorrect as the programme has only engaged 500,000 people, even by its own claim. As for seven million jobs having been created overall, the claim cannot be substantiated.