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Fact Check: Reno Omokri tweets false claims on Nigeria, UK unemployment rate

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CLAIM: Reno Omokri claims that youth unemployment in Nigeria is 65% compared to 5% youth unemployment in the United Kingdom.

VERDICT: False. The youth unemployment rate in Nigeria is currently at 34.9% 

FULL TEXT:  On October 29, 2020, Reno Omokri, a former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan claimed that the youth unemployment rate in Nigeria is 65% a rate he compares to that of the UK where he claims there is a 5% youth unemployment rate.  He made this claim in a tweet criticizing a comment on Nigerian youths made by Mojisola Macaulay, a serving member of the Lagos State Assembly, in what is now a viral video.

At the time of this fact-check on the 25, November, 2020, this tweet has generated more than 4000 engagements on Twitter and Facebook and continues to attract reactions.

VERIFICATION:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the outcome of economies around the world, it is also a dominant measure for unemployment both in Nigeria and the UK. The Bank of England speculates that the pandemic will have an uneven impact on economic recovery, as businesses will not recover at the same rate when the virus passes.   In Nigeria, the situation is rather complex, in addition to the novel coronavirus, the current plunge of oil prices are a factor in determining economic growth and recovery.

Since the pandemic, The UK reached its highest level of unemployment in three years and the highest level of redundancies since 2009, according to data from its national statistical institute,  Office for National Statistics (ONS). The unemployment rate for age 16 and over currently stands at 4.5% in the UK.

UNEMPLOYMENT IN NIGERIA

In Nigeria, however, the unemployed population is defined as all persons aged 15 to 64 years who are willing and able to work but are without work during a specific reference period. On August 31, 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)  released a report, Labour Force Statistics: Unemployment Report (Q1 and Q2 2020) for the second quarter of 2020,  its last unemployment report was in 2018.

From this data, the overall percentage of unemployment is at 27.1%. The unemployment rate among young people between 15-34 years stands at 34.9%. According to the NBS, these were the highest compared to other age groupings. 

Conclusion: As each national statistical data shows us, Reno Omokri’s claim is incorrect.


The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with NewsWire NGR to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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