…As NACCIMA begs Nigerians to buy local products***
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.
In the meantime, the President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mrs Saratu Aliyu has pleaded with Nigerians to intensify growing the nation’s local economy by buying local products.
Aliyu made this call while commending the Rivers Government on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, on the state government’s contribution to the 15th edition of the Annual International Trade Fair.
The fair was organised by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA).
She said that this year’s edition of the annual international trade fair had been remarkable following the support by the state government.
“Indeed, there is a remarkable difference in this year’s trade fair because the state government has started recognising the impact of the fair in promoting our local economy.
“The Rivers governor even gave directives to the 23 local government chairmen to ensure that goods and services domiciled in the various LGAs are packaged and displayed to attract both local and foreign investors”.
The NACCIMA president urged all levels of government to key into programmes and policies aimed at promoting local products.
“Our economy should be a general concern, if the recent economic policies of the Federal Government are supported and allowed to thrive,” he said.
She said that the trade fair would offer huge opportunities to foreign investors to leverage on the abundant investment potential in our local products.
The NACCIMA boss said that the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), would ensure that only certified products were given approval during the fair.
“SON as well as other related agencies already have their stands strategically located at the venue to ensure that only quality goods and services would be displayed at the fair,” she said.
Aliyu said that the boarder closure has made it impossible for unauthourised containers to have access to the country’s borders, adding that some of those containers are used to conceal dangerous chemicals, consumables and even arms.
She said that the motive behind closure of the country’s borders was appreciable.