Bukola Saraki, Senate President has asked Nigerian youth and the people in general to stop the attitude of blaming government or its programmes for the high level of unemployment in the country.
Saraki however admitted that here is a crisis surrounding the issue of unemployment in Nigeria and called on the federal government, National Assembly, private sector and civil society to focus attention on addressing it.
“It is futile to point fingers or cast blame on any one administration and/or government programme,” he said at a one-day public hearing on youth development and empowerment at the National Assembly in Abuja.
“Nigeria’s youth deserve our immediate interest, best thinking and above all, our best efforts to create workable solutions to include their concerns in our national investment framework.”
Casting blame in the government or any individual for the high unemployment, Saraki said will do the country no good.
According to him, population growth outpacing economic growth, inability of school curricula to adequately equip students with skills for employment, and inadequate industries to absorb competent graduates are some of the factors responsible for the worrisome level of unemployment in the country.
He called for the participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the search for solution to the crisis, adding that it “is important because their grassroots networks strengthen the legitimacy of the policy making and democratic process.”
This was as he further pledged the support of the National Assembly to any policy of the government or programme of the private sector or civil society organisations aimed at finding solutions to youth unemployment and developmental crisis.
The public hearing is a continuation of the Youth Development Roundtable discussion sponsored by the Nigerian Senate on October 9.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria has a youth labour force of 38.2 million of which 15.2 million are out of work or seeking for jobs. Statistics also show that majority of the unemployed youth are female.