Tackle unemployment, poverty to fight insecurity, workers urge governments
To save Nigeria from a looming catastrophe, the government at all levels have been urged to take urgent steps to address economic challenges that have been proven to be root causes of insecurity in the country. The economic challenges that need urgent solutions include unemployment, especially youth unemployment, extreme poverty and deteriorating standard of living.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), stated this during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting recently, in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Unfortunately, like a festering wound, they argued that the country is still not out of the woods in terms of insecurity of lives and property, exemplified by armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual killing, hooliganism, terrorism, child trafficking, raping, child labour, baby factory prostitution and other social vices.
All these negative social indicators, the Association noted, are daily assuming a frightening dimension with attendant detrimental consequences for Nigeria.National President of the ASCSN, Bobboi Kaigama, in his address at the meeting also implored the three tiers of government to address the problems of hopelessness and deprivation in the land by initiating projects that will give employment to youths.He listed the establishment of farm settlements, construction of roads, housing estates and skills acquisition centres among others as projects that have the capacity to boost economic activities that will in turn create jobs on sustainable basis.He said: “It should be noted that employment creation is a function of economic activities created. Jobs are not created in the air or through empty statements.
“We must get serious on this four-letter word. This is because if insecurity continues unabated, very soon the few foreign investors in the country will relocate to better climes where the safety of their investments can be guaranteed.”He said re-jigging the security architecture of the nation and provision of better weaponry backed up by local intelligence should also be given utmost consideration.
Among other issues of national importance raised at the meeting was the increase in the general review of salaries in the public service by the Federal Government.Federal Government had promised during the negotiation of consequential adjustment of salaries arising from the new national minimum wage of N30, 000 per month to the effect that a committee had been put in place to undertake a general salary review in the public service.
The workers urged government to fulfil its promise made during the period.“Civil Servants generally are waiting patiently for this promise to materialise. It should be noted that if this particular promise is not fulfilled, the trust between the people and Government, most especially the civil servants will be seriously eroded and nobody will take government serious in the future.
“Government should try as much as possible to avoid treading that path as doing so may have far reaching consequences.”Kaigama, who appreciated those that contributed to ensure the new national minimum wage was approved and implemented, appealed to State Governors to co-operate with the labour team in their respective states on the consequential adjustment negotiation.According to him, necessary machineries should be put in place towards ensuring that the entire negotiation is completed on or before the end of the year 2019 as anything beyond that may negatively affect the peaceful industrial relations atmosphere currently pervading the country.