By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to bailout critical industries in the country in order to reduce unemployment among the youth.
To this end, the house also urged the Federal Government to initiate strategies that will improve power supply to serve the industries.
The resolution of the House was following the adoption of a motion titled “Need to Bail out Ailing Industries to enable them Absorb the Teeming Unemployed Graduates’’, sponsored by Rep. James Faleke.
Leading the debate, Faleke stated that the motion was aimed at reviving the country’s economy by empowering the youth to be productive.
He expressed concern that cottage industries that employed Nigerians in large numbers before were not functioning any more. “It is therefore pertinent to design a special bail out strategy for ailing and collapsed industries for resuscitation devoid of bureaucratic bottlenecks and demand for collateral, except with the equipment and assets of the industries.
“The bailout should be applied through the Bank of Industry, the Bank of Agriculture, the Nigerian Export/ Import Bank at a single digit interest rate with three years moratorium,’’ Faleke said.
He also called for the inclusion of cooperative and micro finance banks in the bailout programs to lend to businesses at single digit interest rates to help boost the stock and sales of traders.
Falake said that the move would address the issue of 1.3 million new graduates passing out every year from the National Youth Service Scheme without jobs.
According to him, there are about 20 million unemployed graduates in Nigeria at the moment.
“The number does not include those graduates who were excluded from the national service on account of age or who attended other institutions of higher learning that do not present candidates for the national service.
“As a result of the collapse and closure of many industries that would have employed the graduates, they are now left to roam the streets of major cities in search of unavailable jobs.
“In the process, they are exposed to the risks of kidnaping, prostitution, cultism, armed robbery and other sundry crimes, as well as falling prey to the antics of employment scammers who take advantage of their desperation to exploit them.
“Unless the federal government takes drastic steps towards redirecting this trend, the country will continue to experience geometric rise in ritual killings involving young people, brigandage, internet fraud, terrorism and other sundry crimes,’’ Faleke said.
Contributing to the debate, Rep Babajimi Benson, described the unemployment situation in the country as endemic.
He pointed to the power sector as a key component in achieving the progress and development in empowering Nigerians.
“Power is essential as it enhances and eases development of all sectors.
Similarly, Rep Aminu Shagari stated that if resources of economic progress were developed and rightly applied, progress and development of all sectors of Nigeria will be easy.
The motiin was Speaker, referred to the Committees on Finance, Industry, Labour, Employment and Productivity for further legislative inputs.