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Senate to Nigerian govt: Declare emergency on unemployment

The Senate on Wednesday urged the federal, state and local governments to declare emergency on unemployment across the country.

The call followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, at the plenary.

The problem of unemployment in the country has become a major source of concern to many Nigerians.

And after considering the bill on the matter, the lawmakers resolved that the declaration of emergency on unemployment by different tiers of government would help in addressing the issue.

They also urged the Federal Ministry of National Planning to ensure the necessary mechanism was put in place to achieve the plan.

The senators proposed the revitalisation of existing industries and urged the executive arm to come up with sustainable employment fund for the payment of stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons secure employment.

Ekweremadu, who introduced the motion by relying on Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, lamented that high institutions of learning in the country had continued to produce a large number of graduates yearly without jobs.

Read also: Corruption remains a serious problem in Nigeria, SERAP survey reveals

He described the situation as a “time bomb waiting to explode.”

He cited a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2019, saying Nigeria’s unemployment rate stood at 23.1 percent of the workforce in the third quarter of the year.

He said: “Any nation with such a number of unemployed but employable youths is only sitting on a keg of gun powder.

“The most pressing demand on the hand of every legislator and public officer is the rising number of curriculum vitae and application for employment from constituent Nigerians.

“A situation where every school 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.”

He said that unemployed Nigerian youths with potential talents “lying idle and wasting away are usually misdirected toward many unprofitable and harmful ventures and lifestyles”.

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