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Senators asks FG to declare emergency on Nigeria’s unemployment rate


A Nigerian Senator Istifanus Gyang on Wednesday asked the government to declare a state of emergency on the growing unemployment rate in the country.

“The government of Nigeria should declare a state of emergency on unemployment in this country so that all hands will be on deck and deliberate steps must be taken to ensure we rescue Nigerian youths that are in the state of trauma,” Gyang said during Senate plenary session.

Former deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu presented the motion on the persistent rate of unemployment in Nigeria.


Currently, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is at 23.1 per cent, while underemployment is at 16.6 per cent, according to the National Bureau Statistics (NBS).

Nigeria’s labour and employment minister Chris Ngige in May 2019 said the country’s unemployment rate may increase to 33.5 per cent by 2020.

“As if this situation is not scary enough, it is projected that the unemployment rate for this country will reach 33.5 per cent by 2020, with consequences that are better imagined, if the trend is not urgently reversed,” Ngige said.

Supporting Ekweremadu’s motion, Gyang lamented that many Nigeria youths are well-read with multiple certificates and still unemployed.

Gyang, a senator representing Plateau North, said unemployment has caused a lot of Nigerians trauma of helplessness.


He asked the government to empower the private sector by providing an enabling environment to create employment for Nigerian youths.

Senator Biodun Olujimi said the declaration of an emergency is much-needed.

“We must declare an emergency on unemployment,” Olujimi said “There is a limit to age when it comes to employment. The emergency is as good as being declared now because something has to be done.”


The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District Smart Adeyemi said the unemployment should be dealt with urgently as it affects everyone here directly or indirectly.

Adeyemi, however, said banks in Nigeria are to be blamed because “They do not give credit facility to young Nigerians to run business.”

He called for a focus on the banking sector funding to reduce the country’s unemployment rate.

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