Senate Decries Unemployment Rate, Summons Minister

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige

The Senate on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on unemployment in the country.

Senator Duro Faseyi raised the motion during plenary. According to him, declaring state of emergency will help to confront the challenge more seriously.

Faseyi lamented that the unemployment figure in the country had created social tension and crisis in the society. This is evident in the rising cases of kidnapping and insurgency.

“The economic recession which has hit the country would integrally multiply the level of unemployment in the country. This as more companies have started considering downsizing in order to cut cost and optimise profit.”

He advised that urgent and result-oriented steps should be taken to tackle the situation.

Also, Sabi Abdullahi said that the time was ripe for the National Assembly to proffer solution to unemployment in the country.

“There is no better time than now, especially as we are moving towards next year’s budget proposal.”

“The policy intent of government with respect to unemployment is not unambiguous because government has accepted that the unemployment rate is something to worry about.”

On Committee Reports

Abdullahi further said what was worrisome was the issue of translating policy intent into programmes and actions.

He also made references to the Committee on Labour and Employment’s oversight visit to the ministry. According to him, National Directorate for Employment has very innovative programmes. These programmes cut across various sectors in various locations across the federation.

“In the budget of N1.8bn, as at November, they were only given N74 million. Yet, it is expected that from the programmes they are expected to train youths and various interest groups.”

“This would enable the youth to begin to do something by way of employing themselves or even creating small and micro enterprises where they can employ one or two persons,” he said.

The lawmaker further urged members of the senate to find a yardstick in determining how much the Ministry of Labour and Employment would receive to tackle unemployment.


Summons Minister

Meanwhile, the senate will invite Minister of Labour and Employment to provide insight into government’s efforts in tackling unemployment.

This was the resolution of the Senate after the debate on the motion by Duro Faseyi. Presiding over plenary, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu directed the Clerk of the Senate to invite the minister.


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