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Declare emergency on employment – Senate



…Mulls payment of stipends to unemployed

…To grill new FIRS, AMCON heads

UPPER Chamber of National Assembly (NASS) has thrown its weight behind the call for expansion of social safety net in Nigeria, asking federal government to initiate a sustainable unemployment fund for payment of living stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons are gainfully employed.

Senate made the call yesterday after its weekly plenary, in a resolution moving for a state of emergency on the provision of employment to Nigerian youths at federal, state and local governments levels, stressing that the policy will go a long way to bring millions of unemployed Nigerians into government catchment that may help them live humanly until they secure employment.

The resolutions followed a motion on ‘Escalating Rate of Unemployment in the Country’ which was sponsored by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in a Point of Order.

“A situation where every graduate has to queue up for job only in government offices is an indication of the breakdown of the private sector, which is the major driver of world economies. These energies and potential talents that are lying idle and wasting away are usually misdirected toward many unprofitable and harmful ventures and lifestyles,” Ekweremadu said.

It will be recalled that federal government initiated N-Power programmes to reduce suffering among unemployed youths in the country, but Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had in April, disclosed that Nigeria’s unemployment rate will hit 33.5 per cent by 2020, though a recent report by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts Nigerian unemployment at 23.1 per cent in third quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami and that of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Edward Adamu are to face a Senate Screening Committee before their confirmation.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan stated this yesterday while designating Senate Standing Committee on Finance for Nami’s screening and confirmation Adamu will face Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.

According to Lawan, the assignments would be completed within four weeks.

It will be recalled that Nami was appointed to replace Tunde Fowler the out-going FIRS boss while Adamu replaces erstwhile AMCON head, Banire.

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