A professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, Hilary Inyang, has disagreed with a report by the National Bureau of Statistics [NBS] rating Akwa Ibom as the second state with high rate of unemployment in the country.
Speaking with reporters in Uyo yesterday, the don said the report does not reflect the true situation in Akwa Ibom.
“Earlier studies two to eight years ago which involved larger samples ranked Akwa Ibom State among the top 50 per cent in Nigeria in terms of employment and wealth distribution of her citizens. It is likely that the scoping study by its methods (telephone calls) failed to adequately sample the major fraction of Akwa Ibomites who are engaged, non-formally in agriculture 29.7 per cent and trade 32.2 per cent,” he said.
“A sample size of 18,500 households at best, [with a household population of 10 each represents a population of 185,000 Nigerians out of a total national population of about 210 million. That ratio is 0.000881 or 0.09 per cent of the total Nigerian national population and grossly inadequate as a representative sample size that can yield result on which statistically valid conclusions can be made”.
“As a matter of fact, even the scoping level estimate made by the NBS is for one out of four quarters of the year and grossly inadequate for use in making general conclusions on the unemployment rate of any state, including Akwa Ibom. It should be noted that as credibly stated by NBS, the Akwa Ibom State unemployment rate used by international agencies is 23.7 per cent. It is highly improbable that the current level of unemployment in Akwa Ibom would be at such variance from the international estimate as to approximately double it 45.2 per cent as estimated from very limited studies by NBS.”
Inyang further said that the World Bank’s assessment of the state in 2011 ranked it 8th out of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in terms of employment.
According to him, there is no evidence to show that other states have implemented employment schemes that would caused Akwa Ibom to fall from 8th position in 2011 to 36th in 2020.
The professor said: “From the World Bank data, the calculated unemployment rate in Akwa Ibom in 2011 was 3.026 per cent. With many industries established in Akwa Ibom in the past eight years such that rather than decrease, employment rate has increased even taking into account enlargement of the population. Akwa Ibom has a much smaller population than most of the other states and has established industries at a faster pace since 2011 when the quoted study was performed. There is no catastrophe that befell Akwa Ibom to the exclusion of other states that have been adjudged to have bypassed her.”