The Senate on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to set up an Unemployment Support Fund to help the unemployed in the country.


The red chamber said that the development would help curb the menacing effects of unemployment in the country.

The lawmakers made the resolution 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”

Other measures recommended by the Senate include that the Federal Government must declare an emergency on unemployment in Nigeria; create more pro-poor social safety nets, dedicate 20 per cent of recovered loots to fund the same, and take other urgent measures to stimulate production and other economic activities to engage young citizens of the country.

The Senate equally asked the Federal Government to adopt a policy of establishing one factory per local government all over Nigeria, to create employment opportunities, towards tackling the vices emanating from the galloping unemployment in the country.

The resolution also enjoined the Federal Government to increase the budgets to education by allocating and effectively implementing 26 per cent of the yearly budget to education beginning from the next budget cycle in 2020 and enjoin states to do same.

While leading the debate on the motion, senator Utazi stated that there was a huge gap between the haves and the have-not in Nigeria, a situation he said was slowly triggering a quiet revolution.

He noted that various forms of insecurity have been afflicting the different zones of the country adding that the Northwest states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto are under the grip of armed militias and bandits.

The lawmaker lamented that criminal elements terrorise villages, kill and maim recklessly.

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He regretted that these activities imposed hunger on the people as a result of the stoppage of farmers from accessing their farms by killer squads.

He also lamented that travelling through most Nigeria’s highways had become an ordeal as the likelihood of attack by hoodlums has become real than imagined adding that the Kaduna-Abuja highway has become a den of bandits and kidnappers.

He said: “Every illusion 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 added: “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 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.

Senators who contributed across party lines described the motion as a wake-up call to government and Nigerians.

They submitted that the government must rise from slumber and fashion out enduring solutions.

 Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, noted that the country has no proper statistics of unemployed Nigerians.

He also stated that there was the need to introduce community policing, so as to effectively contain the escalating insurgency, robbery and kidnapping.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, in his closing remarks commended Senator Utazi for bringing up the motion adding however that Nigerians must separate issue of maintenance of law and order from the issue of poverty.

He said “We have all contributed but there is a 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.”

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