Senators on Tuesday agreed to invite the Minister of Labour and Employment to provide insight into government’s roadmap towards tackling unemployment in the country.
This followed a motion by Sen. Duro Faseyi (PDP-Ekiti), who called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on unemployment with a view to confront the challenge “frontally and radically”.
He said, “The economic recession which has hit the country would integrally multiply the level of unemployment in the country as more companies have started considering downsizing in order to cut cost and optimise profit.”
Faseyi lamented that the unemployment figure in the country had created social tension and crisis in the society, which was evident in cases of kidnapping and insurgency.
He advised that urgent and results-oriented steps should be taken to tackle the “unpalatable unemployment” situation in the country.
Supporting the motion, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger) said that the time was ripe for the National Assembly to proffer solution to unemployment in the country.
He said, “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.”
He said that what was worrisome was the issue of translating policy intent into programmes and actions that would address the issue of unemployment.
He said, “The Committee on Labour and Employment was on oversight just last week.
“It was revealed that the National Directorate for Employment has very innovative programmes that cut across various sectors in various locations across the federation.
“In the budget of N1.8bn, as at November, they were only given N74m, yet it is expected that from the programmes they have, they are expected to train youths and various interest groups.
“This would enable the youths 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.”
The lawmaker urged members of the senate to find a yardstick in determining how much the Ministry of Labour and Employment would receive to tackle unemployment.
After debate on the motion, the lawmakers adopted it with a resolution to invite Labour Minister for some explanation.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, directed the Clerk of the Senate to invite the minister.