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Declare Emergency on Employment, Senate Tells Govt

The Senate on Thursday asked the government at all levels to without further delay, declare a state of emergency on employment in Nigeria.

The directive was sequel to the consideration of a motion by Senator Ike Ekweremadu on the escalating rate of unemployment in the county.

The Senate lamented the high rate of youth unemployment in the country and stressed the need to tackle it.

It also urged the Federal Government, through the Ministry of National Planning, to put up mechanisms and programmes that would provide employment for teeming unemployed graduates/youth at all tiers of government.

The red chamber called for the immediate revitalisation of moribund industries, while new ones should be built.

It also called for the provision of conducive and enabling environment for the private sector to build more industries

It asked the Federal Government to initiate a sustainable unemployment fund for the payment of living stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons secure employment

The upper chamber said the inability of the government to provide employment for the large numbers of graduates “is a time bomb waiting to explode.”

Leading the debate,  Ekweremadu said that a 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.

He also said that the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, has raised the alarm that Nigeria’s unemployment rate would hit 33.5 per cent by 2020.

He said, “Any nation with such number of unemployed, but employable youth population, is only sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

“Senate is perturbed that 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.

“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.”

The Punch

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