Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom has faulted the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) unemployment rating of the state as the second-highest in the country.
Udom made his position known during an interactive session with indigenes of the state in Uyo on Sunday.
He said the protocol and parameters used by the NBS to arrive at the state’s unemployment rating were not reflective of Akwa Ibom’s current realities.
He said the statistics were based on an old rating that preceded the 2019 elections and wondered how the bureau arrived at the sample size used in determining the rating, adding that the NBS reeled out the same figures before the 2019 elections.
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He said Akwa Ibom should be spared the distraction from NBS, noting that he remains focused in the discharge of quality and excellent services to the people of the state.
“We were the second in foreign direct investment, every part of the state is a construction site, what do people call employment?
“I inherited 100 plus doctors and today we have over 400, I attribute this to ignorance. Investment in agriculture, our target was 16,000 hectares. The coconut plantation is employing up to 400. Find out people in hospitality businesses, and none employs less than 250.
“It’s the same statistics they reeled out before the 2019 election. Maybe NBS had forgotten that elections are over. Statistics have procedures and approaches. How did they arrive at their sample size, they don’t even know the population of Nigeria. We are done with election.
“It’s questionable to see an Igbo state have the highest level of unemployment. The fastest way to stimulate the economy is investment in industries. Do you know how many workers we have under Ibom Air, both direct and indirect?
“I am not saying our people are fully employed, but what I am saying is that it is not getting worse, there is room for improvement, but we are not getting worse,” he stated.