Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2019

Senate seeks support Fund for jobless Nigerians

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

Senate yesterday asked the Federal Government to set up an Unemployment Support Fund to help the jobless Nigerians pending when they will get employment.
It further urged the Federal Government to declare an emergency on unemployment in Nigeria, create more pro-poor social safety nets, dedicate 20% of recovered loots to fund poverty, and take other urgent measures to stimulate production and other economic activities to engage young citizens of the country.
It in addition urged the Federal Government to adopt a policy to establish one factory per local government all over Nigeria, to create employment opportunities, towards tackling the vices emanating from the galloping unemployment in the country.
It also enjoined the Federal Government to increase the budgets to education by allocating and effectively implementing 26% of their yearly budget to education beginning from the next budget cycle in 2020 and enjoin states to do same.
The lawmakers made these resolutions following a motion sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North), entitled: “bridging the gap between the haves and the have-not in Nigeria to nip in the bud the seeds of a looming violent revolution”.
Leading the debate on the motion, Utazi noted that there was a huge gap between the haves and the have-not in Nigeria, a situation he said that was slowly triggering a quiet but certain revolution, championed by the down-trodden.
Noting the various insecurity vices afflicting the different zones of the country, he observed that the Northwest states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto are under the grip of armed militias and bandits.
He lamented that these criminal elements terrorise villages, kill and maim recklessly, regretting that these activities imposed hunger on the people as a result of stoppage of farmers from accessing their farms by killer herdsmen.
He further lamented that travelling through most Nigeria’s highways had become an ordeal of frightening proportion as the likelihood of attack by hoodlums is higher than not, citing the Kaduna-Abuja highway as a den of bandits and kidnappers.
The lawmaker also expressed worries that in the North East, terrorism and insurgency had assumed a full blown war and the armed forces and other security services of the country are having a hard time containing all the points of gruesome activities of the insurgents.
“Every illusions as to the magnitude of what the country is facing in the North Eastern flank should have evaporated by now with the mass killings going on there and the high deprivation it has engendered for citizens”, he said.
On the North Central, the he noted that “in the North-Central, armed gangs and murderous herdsmen kill without any considerations, forcing farmers off the farms, razing down whole villages and settlements, and imposing an imminence of famine”.
“Alarmed that in the South-West, kidnappers and ritual killers are having a field day. In the South-South, the nightmare continues as long stretches of roads, like the East-West road, are declared too dangerous to ply and the Police have officially placed an advisory of danger over the road. Gang payoffs have become the new normal.
“In the South-East, it is the unrestrained wave of marauding herdsmen who devastate farmlands, kill people, rape women, and of kidnappers and ritual killers executing with precision their nefarious activities”, the lawmaker catalogued.
In their various contributions, senators across party lines described the motion as a wake-up call to government and Nigerians in general, to rise from slumber and fashion out enduring solutions that could navigate the country out of the debilitating problem.
Specifically, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in his contribution, noted that the country has no proper statistics of unemployed Nigerians, urging that this should be done in order to know how to provide jobs for the youths.
He also reiterated the need to introduce community policing, to effectively contain the escalating insurgency, robbery and kidnapping in various parts of the country.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, commended Utazi for bringing up the motion, pointing out however, that there was need to separate maintenance of law and order from the issue of poverty.
He said that poverty would never be accepted as an excuse for committing crimes in the society, stressing that, no matter how bad the economy is, there must be maintenance of law and order.
“We have all contributed but there is need for us to separate the maintenance of law and order from the issue of poverty. It cannot be an excuse. So, as a nation, no matter how bad it is we must be able to maintain law and order.
“That is why it is important that we as a Parliament must give all the support necessary to all the security agencies and all government policies on security, to see that they maintain law and order. And those who are responsible to maintain law and order must ensure that there cannot be excuses to do otherwise”, he stated.

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