Anglican bishop tasks Ondo government on youth unemployment, ex-workers’ dues
The Bishop of the Diocese on the Coast, Rt. Rev. Oluseyi Pirisola, has enjoined the Ondo State government to take more practical steps to enhance the wellbeing of the residents.
According to him, making life meaningful to the people by identifying with their challenges and tackling them is a strategic way of ensuring peace and winning their support for government policies and programmes designed to lift the society.
The Anglican cleric, who spoke to The Guardian at a lecture to mark the 25th anniversary of his diocese in Okitipupa, specifically advised the state government to treat seriously the issues of youth unemployment and payment of entitlements of retired workers to check criminality in the state.
“Besides providing security for life and property, it is crucial for our government to ensure that the people, including the youths, do not find themselves in a situation that could prompt them to commit crime as a way of getting out of their ugly condition. The high level of unemployment among the youth is worrisome. It makes them prone to criminality. As the government moves to boost security, there must be consideration of the circumstances that make people indulge in criminality, including joblessness.
“If we are not building new companies now, we should be able to revive the ones that have gone under across the state, including the Okitipupa Oil Palm Plc and Oluwa Glass Company, to generate employment for the teeming graduates who now roam the streets and could be recruited for devilish engagements that make life unbearable for their fellow citizens.
“The rising cases of murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug abuse, trafficking in persons, among others, have a link with the high level of unemployment in the society. No government should pay lip service to this challenge, it must be tackled so peace can reign and progress made on all fronts.”
The cleric also urged the government to ensure that those who served Ondo State do not go to their graves disappointed and cursing the authorities.
“It is said that in Nigeria, many ex-government workers die without being paid their entitlements in terms of pension and gratuity. Years after many of them have retired from service, they still could not get the money. They are no longer collecting salaries, their situation is made worse by the fact that many of their children on whom they invested their resources to become educated could not get a job after graduation, and the family must feed.
“The same goes for those who died in active service, their children usually find it extremely difficult to get what is due to their late parents. We appeal to the government to do more in ensuring that these people get what is due to them to support themselves and families as they no longer collect salaries.”