The National Bureau of Statistics and former statistician-general Dr Yemi Kale clashed over the recently released 4.1 per cent unemployment rate.
Recall that the NBS on Thursday last week said the unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2023 stood at 4.1 per cent with the revised methodology.
Reacting to the figure in an interview on Arise Television on Monday, Kale faulted the methodology used by the NBS to generate the latest unemployment data.
He stated that the income generated from 20 hours of work in Nigeria would equate to that made from working one hour in the US.
Kale noted that the importance of data is to give policymakers tools to solve problems.
“The 20 hours(old methodology) was decided on because it was agreed that if you work for that duration, you might be able to generate enough income that equates to what working one hour in the US is. Then you have a bit more comparison.
“But policymakers can’t use it, and I must repeat that the most important use of data is to provide information for policy, not for international comparison. International comparison is good,” he said.
But, in a statement responding to Kale, the Head of the Communications and Public Relations Department of the National Bureau of Statistics, Wakili Ibrahim, said the new methodology aligned with international standards.
“The new methodology is internationally accepted. All our neighbouring countries in Africa are using the new methodology of one hour”, he said.
In the 2020 second quarter, NBS unemployment in Nigeria was 33.3 per cent.
Bank Customers Pay N154bn Fees For E-banking Services
Customers of nine leading commercial banks paid N154 billion fee for using electronic banking services in the first half of the year (H1’23).
Details of the banks’ financial statements for H1’23 showed that the fee represents a 16.7 percent year-on-year (YoY) rise when compared to N131.97 billion paid in H1’22.
The banks are Guaranty Trust Bank which raked in N21.2 billion from the customers, Access Bank (N43.9), Zenith Bank (N22.27 billion), United Bank for Africa Plc (N51.07 billion), Stanbic IBTC (N2.14 billion), First City Monument Bank (N7.4 billion), Unity Bank (N1.96 billion), Fidelity Bank (N1.85 billion) and Wema Bank (N3.13 billion).
Electronic Banking is a service that enables banking transactions through electronic payment channels like internet banking, mobile banking, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale (PoS) among others.
The rise in electronic banking fees and commission indicates that Nigerians’ adoption of electronic payment channels has continued to increase.
According to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) e-payment data for Q1’23 the volume of e-payment transactions grew YoY by 209 percent to 4.7 billion from 1.52 billion in Q1’22.
The value of e-payment transactions increased YoY by 48 percent to N137.52 trillion in Q1’23 from N92.85 trillion in Q1’22.
Meanwhile, in H1 ’23, the nine banks earned N66.7 billion from account maintenance fees and commission income, representing a 14.7 percent YoY rise when compared to N57.5 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022, H1’22.
In terms of highest account maintenance fees and commission income, Zenith Bank had the highest (N21.02 billion), followed by Access Bank (N13.36 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N10.5 billion), United Bank of Africa, UBA, (N9.6 billion), First City Monument Bank, FCMB, (N3.85 billion), Fidelity Bank (N3.4 billion), Stanbic IBTC (N2.64 billion), Wema Bank (N1.63 billion) and Unity Bank ( N742.6 million).
However, in terms of growth, UBA had the highest YoY growth of 47.6 percent at N9.6 billion in H1’23 from N6.5 billion in H1’22.
Edo, GIZ Strengthen Partnership To Enhance Ease Of Doing Business
As part of reforms to boost ease of doing business in Edo State, the state government has strengthened partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Addressing journalists after the meeting with the representatives from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) at the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), in Benin City, the Managing Director of ESIPO, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, said the primary objective of the meeting was to evaluate the outcomes of prior collaborations and chart a more robust path, aimed at elevating Edo’s standing in the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) ratings.
He noted that GIZ has been a steadfast partner to Edo State over the years, offering invaluable support in the state’s mission to enhance the Ease of Doing Business.
He added, “This partnership has yielded noteworthy successes, and the recent meeting provided an opportunity to assess the tangible achievements and strategise for the future.
“One of the top priorities identified during the meeting was the enhancement of EODB for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Both parties were committed to ensuring that these businesses encounter fewer obstacles and experience a more streamlined process.
“A key area of focus was simplifying business-related processes and reducing bureaucratic complexities. Streamlining these procedures can significantly enhance the overall EODB environment.
“Recognising the importance of reducing the cost of doing business, both parties underscored the need to implement measures that make it more affordable for enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones.”
Representative of the Head of Component, Policy and Strategy, Mr. Omoware Akinropo, and Access to Finance Policy Advisor, GIZ, Mr. Pearse Akinwande, reiterated GIZ’s unwavering commitment to supporting Edo State in its EoDB initiatives.
Naira To Dollar: Edo Businessman Wants FG To Intervene
An Edo State businessman, Mr. Osazee Gift Osazuwa, has called on the Federal Government to wade in and tackle the falling rate of the naira against the dollar.
He made the call in Benin while addressing Journalists as regards the current exchange rate of the naira against the dollar.
Osazuwa said on Saturday, the naira was sold for 1,000/$ at the black market, a trend he described as “very worrisome.”
He said the falling strengthen of the naira against the dollar is not helping them in the electronics business as they have to spend more to buy goods due to the exchange rate.
Osazuwa said if the naira keeps falling without any action from the Federal Government to salvage the situation, it might get worse and thereafter push them out of business.
Osazuwa, while expressing confidence on President Bola Tinubu’s ability to revamp the nation’s moribund economy, said those of them in the electronics business still have hope that he has the magic wands to turn it around.
He called on the Federal Government to arrest the situation before it gets out of hands.
He said if the government can check the falling rate, stem the tide and restore the dignity of the naira against the dollar, the country will be better for it.
Also speaking, Mr. Matthew Oshodin, decried the high cost of living in the country which is made worse by the fuel subsidy removal.
He said Nigerians are currently finding it difficult to cope rising from the high cost of fuel that has robbed off on every other aspect of the economy.
Oshodin further used the medium to call on the federal government to fix up the nation’s moribund refineries rather than sharing N5 billion as palliatives to states.
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