Claim: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2022 report shows 92% of Nigerians earn less than ₦60,000
This claim is false as our findings show there is no 2022 report by the NBS on labour force statistics and previous reports do not state the amount earned by workers in Nigeria.
The Nigerian population is divided into the labour force (currently active) and non‐labour force (currently inactive). While unemployment and under-employment are sometimes used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) describes an employed person as one who is engaged in the production of goods and services, thereby contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in a legitimate manner and an unemployed person as one with absolutely nothing to do or did something but for less than 20 hours during the reference week.
Underemployment occurs when a person works less than full time hours (40 hours) but works at least 20 hours on average a week and /or if the person works full time he or she is engaged in an activity that under-utilised their skills, time and educational qualifications.
A Twitter user Ustashi Jake (@Hitee_) in April, claimed 92% of Nigerians earn less than ₦60,000 a month and credited this to the NBS.
“Over 92% of Nigerians earn less than 60k a month- NBS 2022” the tweet read.
Looking at how and when the NBS releases its quarterly report, we found this suspicious because the claimant attributed this to a 2022 report by the NBS. Also, users in the comment section of the tweet did not believe this claim as some took to the comment section to say this was false.
The question now is if this claim is a product of an NBS report or a creation of the Twitter user’s imagination? This prompted DUBAWA to do this check.
To verify this, we first visited the NBS website to study its 2022 reports released so far since the claimant did not specify which 2022 document of the bureau it was making reference to. Recent reports found on the website were the Consumers price Index (CPI) and inflation report for January, February and March 2022, Automative Gas oil (fuel) price watch January 2022, among others.
A look at its data release calendar from January to May shows no Labour force statistics have been released in 2022. The Labour force statistics by the bureau usually contain information on unemployment and underemployment.
A keyword search on this statistics shows the most recent report available is the labour statistics for the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. The labour force survey conducted prior to this was for the 3rd quarter of 2018. The report for Q2 of 2020, puts underemployment at 28.6%, while that of Q3 in 2018 puts underemployment rate at 20.1%.
We observed that in these labour force reports, the bureau does not state the amount Nigerian workers classified as employed or underemployed earn apart from the rate of employment or underemployment in percentages. Even if there was a 2022 labour force statistics report which does not exist, it will not show how much workers (employed or underemployed) earn, be it ₦60,000, less or more.
Having studied the website of the bureau, we called its statistical information officer, Moses Matthew, who said no data on labour has been released this year.
“No. Ask the person where he got his information from,” he added.
We reached out to the claimant on Twitter, requesting his data source to be sure which document by NBS he was referring to, and he said he got the information from a Twitter space.
“Got the information on a Twitter live space session and sent a series of emails to NBS to confirm this,” he said.
When asked if any of his emails got a response, he said no.
Our findings show there is no 2022 report by the NBS on the labour force, and previous reports do not carry the amount earned by employed or underemployed workers in Nigeria. This makes the claim false.