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Is Edo unemployment rate 19 percent as claimed by Obaseki?

The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, during Channels Television election debate claimed that the unemployment rate in the state is now 19%.


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Ahead of the September 19 governorship election, Channels Television, organised an election debate on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

The debate was between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki.

Channels Television had earlier conducted a poll which allowed the public to choose two candidates they would love to appear in the debate. The candidates of the  APC and PDP emerged top of the poll.

During the governorship debate which lasted for over an hour,  the candidate of the PDP, Godwin Obaseki, claimed that the unemployment rate in the state reduced from 25% to 19% in his tenure. 

The governor noted that this figure is verifiable with the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report.

“The NBS statistics is clear, when we came in it was 25 per cent and we have been able to reduce it to about 19 percent so that tells you how much jobs have been created.”

Excerpt of Obaseki’s statement.


A keyword search by Dubawa showed that in August 2020, a report by The Nation indicates that the unemployment rate in Edo state has reduced to 19%. 

The report which quoted a Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report, noted Edo State has the lowest unemployment figure in the South-South region, compared to five other oil-rich states in the region.

Screenshot of The Nation’s report.

Also on August 14, 2020, Premium Times published a report on the unemployment rate of Nigeria for 2018. According to the report, the national unemployment rate has risen to 27.1%. Although the report covered the state with the highest rate of unemployment which was Imo state, it did not make reference to the regional breakdown or breakdown by state for Edo.

Screenshot of Premium Times report.

On August 15, 2020, Vanguard reported that Imo State leads in unemployment in Nigeria. 

Screenshot of Vanguard’s report.

Screenshot of Vanguard’s report.

The Punch also published a similar report stating Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen to 27.1%.

screenshot of the Punch report.

A study of the NBS Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q2 2020) showed that the report findings were presented both at the national level and state level. This  was classified by gender, urban and rural areas, age group, and educational group.

Under the statistics for states, the unemployment rate for Edo State was recorded at  19% and its poverty rate is at 10%.

Screenshot infographic from NBS report.
Screenshot of Labour force statistics Table.

The report also covered the international unemployment rate which showed that  Nigeria’s recent unemployment rate at 11.7% makes it the 41st country with the highest unemployment rate out of 181 countries with rates published within the last 2 years.

Screenshot of International unemployment table.

Credit: NBS Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q2 2020).


From the NBS data studied and the reports available, the claim that Edo state unemployment rate is now 19% is true.

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