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Reps urge FG to tackle youth unemployment

BY BEN AGANDE & EMMA OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—The House  of Representatives, Thursday, urged the Federal Government to submit to it programmes and projects geared towards employment generation for the youths for the next four years, beginning 2012.

In a motion sponsored by Rep Andrew Uchendu, who represents Rivers State, he noted that one of the reasons given for existence of militancy in the Niger Delta, area boys in Lagos, youth fighters in Jos and to some extent, the Boko Haram recruits in Maiduguri, was largely due to youth unemployment.

He said: “A recent British council report indicated that Nigeria risks social unrest in the coming years unless the oil rich nation takes advantage of its resources and creates jobs for its swelling youths population.”

Rep Uchendu further explained that “Nigeria’s 150 million population could soar by tens of millions by 2050 according to United Nations, estimates and the fact that the oil industry contributes 40 percent to the Gross Domestic Product ,GDP, but only employs 0.15percent of the population.”

He recalled that official statistics on unemployment placed it at 20 percent, stressing that “if Nigeria fails to plan for its next generation, it could face worsening social unrest.”

Rep Kingsley Chinda, also representing Rivers State, arguing against the motion, stressed that it was only where there was an enabling environment with steady power supply, good roads that youth unemployment could be alleviated in Nigeria.

Arguing in favour of the motion, Deputy House Leader, Leo Ogor, said “the motion is clear; it is not contradictory in any way as it is designed for a  whole tenure of four years which is achievable.”

The House unanimously adopted the motion.

Meanwhile, another motion on a recent fire, caused by a petrol tanker at the central police station, located at the Prison roundabout in Enugu was adopted by the House and subsequently referred to its Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for further action.

Sponsored by Mr Ofor Chukwuegbo and 40 other members, the motion had called for provision of relief materials by NEMA to victims of the inferno,  a minute silence which was observed on the floor, and a call on the federal government to reconstruct all affected houses around the area.


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