Unemployment rate worries Senate


THE Senate on Wednesday called on Federal Government to initiate a sustainable unemployment fund for the payment of stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons secure employment.

It also urged the Federal Government to put up a mechanism and programme that would provide employment for the teeming unemployed graduates.

The resolutions were sequel to a motion entitled: “Escalating rate of unemployment in the country” sponsored by Sen. Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West) during the plenary.

Other resolutions included a call on federal and state governments to revitalise existing industries, build new ones and provide  conducive and enabling environment for the private sector to build more industries.

The Senate also urged the federal, state and local governments to declare emergency on  provision of employment to the youths of Nigeria.

Moving the motion, Ekweremadu raised concern that there were large numbers of various levels of graduates that Nigeria’s high institutions were turning out yearly but could not be absorbed by the labour market.

He also raised the concern that the most pressing demand on the hand of legislators and public officers was the rising number of curriculum vitae and application for employment from various constituencies.

“A situation where every school graduate has to queue up for jobs in government offices is an indication of the breakdown of the private sector which is the major driver of world economies,” he said.

Supporting the motion,  Sen. Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), said that unemployment was a serious national problem that affected everybody directly or indirectly.

“This is an issue that demands that all of us take very seriously by proffering solutions as to how we should reduce unemployment in our country,” he said.

He said the Iron and Steel Complex, Ajaokuta, Kogi, alone was capable of employing over 25, 000 people.

“But today, I doubt if they have up to 500 people working for Iron and Steel Complex, Ajaokuta; it was abandoned by previous administration,” Adeyemi said.

While stating that unemployment was an issue beyond the Federal Government, Adeyemi said that state governments should be encouraged to set up small scale businesses for citizens to check unemployment.

Adeyemi said that banks contributed in no small measure to the problem of unemployment in the country.

“They refused to give facilities to small scale industries. Graduates are roaming the streets; some of them have ideas as how to be self-employed, but the facilities are not just there for them,” he said.

He, however, called for a blueprint that should be in place to encourage young graduates to be self-reliant.

Similarly, Sen.Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North) said that  “menace of unemployment in the country was “the trauma of despondency, helplessness and hopelessness”.

He called on government to declare a state of emergency on the unemployment situation.

“This is so that all hands will be on deck and deliberate steps must be taken to ensure that we rescue the generations of Nigerian youths that are in this state of trauma, despondency and helplessness.

” It will require sectors like the agriculture with potential to generate a lot of employment opportunities should attract attention at the policy level and as a deliberate effort of government,” he said

The resolutions were unanimously adopted after a voice vote by the President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the 2020 Statutory Budget Proposal of the Federal Capital Territory Administration  to the Senate for consideration and passage. The letter was read by  Lawan during the plenary. (NAN)

– Dec. 11, 2019 @ 19:15 GMT |

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