Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says job creation is what he does best.
The 71-year-old former vice-president said this ahead of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) release of labour statistics, expected Thursday, October 18 and Monday, November 6, 2018.
“The most effective way to fight crime is to provide opportunity to create wealth, because poverty is conducive to crime,” Atiku said on Thursday.
“If you elect me as your President, I will equip the security forces to fight terrorism and crime. Additionally, I will do what I do best – job creation.”
Nigeria’s job creation report for Q1 and Q2 2018 was initially billed to be released on October 10, while labour force statistics for Q4 2017 and Q1 2018 is expected on October 18, according to the NBS data release calendar.
Both reports have not been made publicly available.
However, the data office is set to release the unemployment and underemployment report for the last quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 by Monday, November 6.
Previous reports show that nearly eight million Nigerians have become unemployed since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015.
The Buhari administration says it has created over seven million jobs since 2015, and plans to create more using the provisions of the economic growth and recovery plan (ERGP).
Speaking in London, earlier in 2018, Babatunde Fashola, minister of power works and housing, said Buhari has created jobs for 6.3 million new rice farmers via the agricultural drive.
Fashola also said the ministry of power, works and housing has created 193,469 jobs, with 40,429 direct and 153,040 indirect jobs, within the two years.
Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, had said in January, 2018 that the Buhari admin has created six million jobs in the agricultural sector alone since it came on board in 2015.
The last NBS report shows that the number of people within the labor force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.
President Buhari and former vice-president Atiku are running on the promise to create jobs if voted in to lead Nigeria in 2019.
The unemployment report is expected to be a campaign tool for both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — depending on the eventual numbers.