Africas largest economy and the most populous nation will continue to rely on outdated and unofficial figures for reference to its unemployment figures.

This is coming as Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of Federation, said on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, that the statistical office has no money to conduct and release the unemployment data.

As scepticism spreads over political influence on the jobless data, Kale insisted that the delay in the figures has nothing to do with next February elections. The figures “can’t be completed due to budgetary releases,” Kale said Tuesday on Twitter.

“You guys need to stop this, know it’s election time but I’ve said this repeatedly. Nobody is calling me to manipulate any data or not to release any data.”

The last official unemployment figures for the country was released in the third quarter of 2017.

In the report, Unemployment in Africa’s most-populous nation hit a fast pace of 18.8% and the highest since at least 2010.

No fund to complete research on employment and unemployment figures

In a tweet chat with Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa in August 2018, Kale said the office was working on the unemployment figures as it is a nationwide exercise.

“We are currently working on this; some funding delays but expect to be in the field by the end of next week. It’s a nationwide exercise so lots of planning/logistics, but should expect to have the numbers ready by mid to end of Oct & the results will cover q4 2017 up to q2 2018,” he responded to BISSA question. Initially billed for release October 2018, country's statistics office has shifted it to December 20, 2018, according to office's calendar, due to palpable funding from the government.

Enter population figures

In the same vein, population and housing census of Nigeria is due since 2016. Almost three years late, the country is yet to figure out when the census will take place as no money has been allocated for the purposes also.

Nigeria's population is currently put at over 190 million away from the official figure at 140 million in 2006.

The implication of unofficial data - why the unemployment rate is an important economic indicator

- Job and jobless data is an important index of checking the health of an economy, its labour resources as well as the impact of the government's policy and activities on the nations.

- It helps investors to make a decision on macroeconomic policies of a nation.

- If Nigeria is said to be the world's poverty capital, the unemployment data could have helped the government to roll out policies and framework especially targeted at a more vulnerable location and make an informed decision.