President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday during a Gala Night organized by beneficiaries of the Anchor Borrowers Programme held at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja, said that the recent data published by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that his government is doing well.
Buhari’s statement came despite the staggering figure of unemployed persons which had risen to 20.9million.
He noted that his administration in 2015 inherited a broken system in the agricultural sector, saying that current statistics from the NBS confirms that his administration policies were yielding results.
“Seeing your faces and hearing your stories give me hope. Today, we are on track to achieving an all-inclusive economy,” Buhari said while speaking to some rice farmers.
The Federal Government had alleged that the country produces more rice and would soon begin export of rice to other nations. According to the FG, local rice production had increased while importation had dropped by up to 90percent.
The United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade however noted last month that Nigeria imported three million metric tons of rice in 2018. The statement completely contradicts what the Buhari’s government had stated.
The report revealed that the import figure was 400,000 MT higher than the quantity imported in 2017, adding that Nigeria’s local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared to 2015.
Few days ago, Mr. Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, had stated that Buhari ordered the Statistician General of the NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, to change the high unemployment statistics so that it can reflect the rising rate of employment in the agricultural sector.
According to Shehu, Dr. Kale in a recent meeting with the Federal Executive Council, admitted that the NBS was only focusing on the creation of white-collar jobs and not the agricultural sector and others.
“Rice Producers Association of Nigeria made the open claim and nobody has challenged them up until the time that we speak, that they had created 12 million new jobs,” Shehu had said.
Kale however vehemently denied ever making such claim.