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Unemployed Nigerians should be paid stipends until they get jobs – Senate

The Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal, State and Local Governments to declare emergency on the provision of employment to the Youths of Nigeria.

It also tasked the Federal Government through the Ministry of National Planning to put up mechanism and program that will provide employment for the teeming unemployed graduates in all tiers of government.

The resolution of the Senate was a sequel to a motion moved by Senator Ike Ekweremadu on “escalating rate of unemployment in the country.”

The motion which was overwhelmingly supported by senators led the Senate to further urged the Federal, State and Local Governments to revitalise existing industries, build new ones and provide a conducive and enabling environment for the Private Sector to build more industries.

The Senate resolved as that the Federal Government should initiate a sustainable unemployment Fund for the payment of living stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons secure any kind of employment.

In his lead debate, the sponsor of the motion and former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekwerwmadu said that a large number of various levels of graduates from the nation’s high institutions yearly cannot be absorbed by the labour market.

He said the development was a time bomb that is waiting to explode.

He cited the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2019 which stated that Nigeria’s unemployment rate stood at 23.1 per cent of the workforce in the third quarter of 2019.

He further cited a statement credited to Sen Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity and published in Premium Times of 9th November 2019 declared that Nigeria’s unemployment rate will hit 33.5 per cent by 2020.

According to Ekweremadu any nation with such number of unemployed but employable youths are only sitting on a keg of gun powder.

Perturbed that the most pressing demand on the hand of every legislator and the public officer is the rising number of curriculum vitae and application for employments from constituent Nigerians.

Contributing to the debate, Senator Smart Adeyemi said that banks that should advance loans to young Nigerians to do business and create employment do not do so but chase after politicians who will misappropriate funds to advance them loans.

Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi while speaking to the motion stated that a situation where every school graduate has to queue up for job only in government offices is an indication of the breakdown of the private sector which is the major driver of world economies.

He said the sad reality was that the private sector which h has the capacity to create job opportunities and engage people in employment are closing shops due to difficult times poses serious socio-economic challenges that must be combated.

Adetumbi said the concern was more in view of the fact that these energies and potential talents that are lying idle and wasting away are usually misdirected toward many unprofitable and harmful ventures and lifestyles.

He stated that situation was one in which that the most active percentage of the nation’s population are forcefully caged from participating in the economic development of their fatherland and contributing toward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by unemployment.

He said that the unemployment is one of the major cause of the upsurge in rural-urban migration which put pressure on facilities at the urban centres and a major reasons why insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, cyber crimes and other vices are in the increase.

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