By Emman Ovuakporie
…Says unemployment, insecurity constitute grave social danger to the polity
ABUJA—SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Thursday said measures so far employed to fight insecurity in Nigeria were cosmetic. According to him, mass employment generating measures would have helped combat the malaise.
Tambuwal, who made the observation in his speech to mark the 2nd anniversary of the 7th Assembly, said: “The vicious circle of unemployment, poverty and insecurity constitutes a grave social malady in our body politic.
” Sadly, the debilitating insecurity situation has forced us to declare a war on consequences rather than causes.
” For now, it may be imperative to fight the consequences in order to create a conducive atmosphere for the prosecution of the war against the causes.
“It is important to realise that along the line, we must commence the war against unemployment and poverty as a consolidation strategy.
”Agriculture provides for the nation the sector with the shortest gestation period for job creation. Our national statistics reveal that 70 per cent of our population is engaged in agriculture, 20 per cent in services and the remaining 10 per cent in industry.
“It means the agriculture sector alone accounts for over 70 million Nigerians of working age, even then over 65 million would be in subsistence agriculture where they are either grossly underemployed or mal-employed, thus constituting a waste of the workforce because any employment that does not offer a living wage is a manpower waste.
”This under employment and mal-employment are replicated in similar proportion in the services and industry.
” The challenge before us is, therefore, not merely to create jobs but, infact, to recreate jobs by upgrading all those existing jobs that are, indeed, pretentious employments offering no living wage.”
On weaknesses of the 7th Assembly, Tambuwal said: “Given the improvements in some House processes aimed at reducing legislative red tape, it must be admitted that the timeous reportage by House Committees on bills and other matters referred to them for action has been far from satisfactory.
” This has impacted negatively on the accomplishment of targets. Henceforth, Committees will be sited for such breaches and sanctioned appropriately.
”The objective of the House to put in place an efficiently functional electronic voting system has suffered some set back, this has deprived the House of the several benefits accruing from the system.
” This is regrettable. However, feasibility has been completed and appropriate budgetary provisions made under the 2013 budget of the FCT for the comprehensive rehabilitation and upgrading of the system both for the Chambers and other ancillary infrastructure, the Ado committee on e-parliament and FCT have been mandated to keep a close tap on this project to ensure its successful execution.”