Following the 2023 election timetable release by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political campaigns have been gathering steam.
Aspirants vying for various political offices have also been going round the country, meeting with and participating in discussions geared towards selling their candidatures to the electorates.
On Sunday, the first leg of a town hall presidential debate was organised by Arise TV in conjunction with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
Ifeanyi Okowa, Kola Abiola, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso attended the presidential debate, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) respectively.
During the debate, the participants spoke extensively on how their governments, if elected to office, would tackle insecurity heads-on. They also spoke about how they would stabilise the economy for shared prosperity so as to provide a liveable environment for all Nigerians.
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The meeting addressed two of the major challenges Nigeria has been battling with in recent years: security and economy.
During the first segment on the debate that dwelt solely on security, Obi said the high rate of youth unemployment was largely responsible for the country’s security issues.
After this, he went on to specifically claim that youth unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 50 per cent.
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CLAIM: Today, in Nigeria, we have 35 per cent unemployment …. we have 50 per cent youth unemployment [sic]. You cannot have that (unemployment rate) and you won’t have crisis.
VERIFICATION: To verify Obi’s claim, FIJ checked the website of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for confirmation.
In the end, it was discovered that the unemployment rate generally in Nigeria as at today, and according to the bureau, stood at 33.3 per cent. Under-employment and youth under-employment also stood at 22.8 and 21 per cent respectively.
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Specifically, the figure obtained from the said NBS site also puts youth unemployment at 42.5%.
CONCLUSION: Youth unemployment rate is not at 50 per cent as claimed by the Labour Party presidential candidate.
VERDICT: The claim made by Peter Obi that Nigeria’s youth unemployment rate stands at 50 per cent is false.
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