By James Ezema
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Ado Dogo Audu, has decried the unemployment rate in the country, saying his committee was set to meet President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua over the matter as the primary responsibility of the issue.
He said this yesterday during the Telecommunication Human Resources Forum organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN) in Lagos.
Audu who also frowned at the rate of retrenchment of workers by government without creating more jobs also said committee report on the bill on national minimum wage which has passed through second reading would soon be laid at the floor of the House for deliberation and passage, saying the committee would be neutral in its recommendation.
On his part, President and chairman of Council of the institute, Dr. Oladimeji Alo, said the event marked the fourth in the series of sectoral fora, which the institute organised in recent time in order â€œto bring dedicated focus to the challenges facing different sectors of our national economy and to discuss how these challenges are shaping or being shaped by management of human resources in the sector.â€
His words: â€œIn my committee, we are working towards how we can see Mr. President. We want to raise questions to ask the executive. It is not just the issue of retrenching people from their present positions or from their working places. What are they doing about creating new jobs or employment for Nigerians.
â€œAnd we want to know what has been the target of the executive or the government on employment opportunity, may be yearly, what will be their target. Because if you look at every government in this world today, particularly when we are practising the America system of government, if a leader is elected in America, the first he would want to address it the issue of employment; to create employment opportunities for Americans. We should emulate America. Not just retrenching people on daily bases without employing peopleâ€, Hon. Audu said.
On contentious issue of N52, 000. 00 minimum wage being demanded by labour, he said: â€œIn Nigeria area we work based on a budget but this year when we are talking of N52, 000. 00 minimum wage,Â if you total the minimum wage labour is asking, and look at the budget of Nigeria for the year, you will find out that all the money has goneâ€.
According to him, like umpire, the committee will meet government and labour at a compromise position.