…Wants FG to set up Unemployment Fund
The Senate has raised the alarm over the escalating unemployment in Nigeria and called on the Federal, State, and Local Governments to declare emergency on the state of joblessness.
The upper legislative chamber also urged the Federal Government, through the Ministry of National Planning, to “put up mechanisms and programmes that would provide employment for our teeming unemployed graduates/youth at all tier of government”, and called on the Federal Government to initiate a sustainable Unemployment Fund for the payment of living stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons secure any kind of employment.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion entitled “Escalating Rate of Unemployment in the Country” sponsored by former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday.
The lawmaker, who noted that the worsening unemployment statistics in the country during plenary, expressed concern that the large numbers of various levels of graduates churned out by various higher institutions of learning on annual basis, but who could not be absorbed by the labour market, were a time bomb waiting to explode.
Continuing, he said: “Report published by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2019 states that Nigeria’s unemployment rate stood at 23.1 per cent of the workforce in the third quarter of 2019.
“Statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngige, and published by the “Premium Times” on 9th November, 2019 showed that Nigeria’s unemployment rate will hit 33.5 per cent by 2020.
“Any nation with such number of unemployed, but employable youth population, is only sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
“The most pressing demand on the hand of every legislator and public officer is the rising number of Curriculum Vitae and application for employments from constituents and Nigerians”.
Ekweremadu reasoned that “a situation where every graduate has to queue up for job only in government offices is an indication of the breakdown of private sector, which is the major driver of world economies”, expressing worries that “these energies and potential talents that are lying idle and wasting away are usually misdirected toward many unprofitable and harmful ventures and lifestyles”.
Continuing, he also observed that a situation where “most active percentage of the nation’s population is forcefully caged by unemployment from participating in the economic development of fatherland and from contributing toward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)” was dangerous.
“High level of crimes in any society is most times related to high rate of unemployment.
“Unemployment is one of the major causes of the upsurge in Rural-Urban migration, which puts pressure on facilities at the urban centers.
“Unemployment is one of the major reasons insurgency, kidnaping, armed robbery, cyber crimes and other vices are on the increase
“Various intervention programmes by successive governments targeted at reducing youth unemployment and eradicating its co-traveler, poverty, have not yielded the desired results”, he added.
Consequently, the Senate also urged the Federal, State, and Local Governments to revitalise existing industries, build new ones, and provide conducive and enabling environment for the Private Sector to build more industries.