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Atiku cites unemployment as major reason for insecurity

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has revealed that the escalating rate of insecurity in the country is caused by the high rate of youth unemployment.

Atiku made this assertion via a statement on Sunday, March 28, titled ‘World’s Highest Unemployment Rate: Time To Help This Government Help Nigeria.’

This was in response to a report by Bloomberg which predicted that Nigeria will emerge as the nation with the highest unemployment rate on Earth.

According to him, Nigeria got to this current situation due to the abandonment of policies implemented by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo under which he served as Vice President.

Atiku said, “I have never felt so bad at being proven right, as I am by the report from Bloomberg Business on Saturday, March 27, 2021, that Nigeria is to emerge as the nation with the highest unemployment rate on Earth, at just over 33%.

“We warned about this, but repeated warnings by myself and other patriots were scorned. And now this.

“How did Nigeria get here? We got here by abandoning the people-centred leadership and free trade and deregulatory policies of the Obasanjo years (which saw us maintain an almost single-digit unemployment rate) and implementing discredit command and control policies that have led to massive capital flight from Nigeria.

“And with the paucity of funds, we continue to ramp up government involvement in sectors that ought to be left to the private sector, with the latest being the ill-advised $1.5 billion so-called rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery that has failed to turn a profit for years.

READ ALSO: ORTOM: Atiku calls for a rejig of the nation’s security architecture

“What this government must realise is that the unprecedented insecurity Nigeria is facing is the result of youth unemployment.

“Idleness is the worst feature of unemployment because it channels the energy of our youth away from production, and towards destruction, and that is why Nigeria is now the third most terrorised nation on Earth.

“Now, how do we address this challenge?

“In 2020, I recommended that to immediately and drastically bring down youth unemployment, every family in Nigeria with at least one school-age child, and earning less than $800 per annum should receive a monthly stipend of 5000 Naira from the government via their BVN and NIN on the condition that they verifiably keep their children in school.

“My recommendation still stands and stands even stronger now that we have crossed the rubicon in youth unemployment.

Atiku said if 13.5 million out of school children could be enrolled in schools, Nigeria could turn the corner in one generation.

“If we do not do this, then the floodgates of unemployment will be further opened next year, and in the years to come,” he said.

“We can no longer say we cannot afford this. We can.

“Recall that in 20 years ending 2020, the NLNG had delivered $18.3 billion dividends to government irrespective of taxes and other benefit accruals to the country.

“This will not only free the government of needless spending but also clean up the infrastructure mess in the petroleum downstream sector.

“I say this because the fastest way to bring down a world record unemployment rate is via incentivised education. An educated citizenry is more employable and more self employable.”

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