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NDC calls for Niger Delta autonomy over spike in unemployment rate

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The Niger Delta Congress on Wednesday blamed the spike of unemployment rate in the Niger Delta region on the debilitating economic policies and laws of the country.

The group in a statement said the policies are “continues to entrench underdevelopment to benefit a select few at the expense of an overwhelming majority.”

The unemployment data, recently published by Nigeria’s statistics office, showed that unemployment in the region grew from 32% in the third quarter of 2018 to 37% in 2020.

Analysis of the figures by the NDC shows that apart from Bayelsa State, the other five states in the region have an unemployment and underemployment rate of over 50% of the workforce, the council said.

“This means that over five million Niger Deltans have no jobs,” the council added.

The NDC said it is an “indictment” on Nigeria that the region “responsible for over 70% of its foreign exchange earnings, and over 90% of its budget expenditure, has a population the size of the entire countries of Uruguay, Equatorial Guinea, and Iceland combined to be unemployed.

“This is unacceptable to the Niger Delta people and the Niger Delta Congress.”

The group, therefore, calls on the governors of the Niger Delta states to as a matter of urgency convene an emergency economic round table session to discuss the economic autonomy plights and aspirations of the people of the region in the shortest possible time, to forestall a complete economic emasculation of the Niger Delta people and region.

“Failure to do this will embolden the oppressive economic policies of the Nigerian State on the people of the region and further deepen the poverty and unemployment index,” the council said.


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