64m Nigerian youth unemployed- Dogara
//Chris Suleiman, Abuja//
Speaker House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara has on Monday made scary revelation when he quoted the National Bureau of Statistics, 2015 revealed that 64 million youths representing 23.9% of Nigerian youths are unemployed.
This was made known yesterday at an interactive session with Students of Nigerian Universities at the National Assembly complex at the instance of the Speaker
The Speaker also pointed that, the recent 2015/2016 ranking of world universities has ranked a Nigerian University as number 801 among world universities just as it was discovered that over $2billion leaves the shores of this country annually for the funding of foreign education.
The National Bureau of Statistics, 2015 also revealed that 64 million youths representing 23.9% of Nigerian youths are unemployed, which is over 50% of the work force of the country. It was further disclosed that 33% of Nigerians across board cannot read or write while only 43% of Nigerian children have access to secondary education.
Hon. Dogara also disclosed that a lot of youths are unemployed due to lack of skill, requisite education, inadequate infrastructure and while many graduate from school are unemployable because their course of study has no relevance with the present reality in the country.
The speaker decried lack of infrastructure, poor facilities, poor funding and lack of needed man power in public schools, saying that all these gave rise to increase in poverty and lack of proper education. He pointed out that these hitches have led many parents to seek university education off-shore despite the huge financial burden.
Hon. Dogara, said that the interaction which is the first of its kind is part of the youth development programme rooted on the need to deepen the knowledge of young people on legislative procedure. He reminded participants that the interaction should build their trust on their legislature, urging them to introduce necessary processes in their schools that will deepen legislative awareness among the youths, maintaining that such interaction should reconfigure the mind set of the youth and close the gap causing political apathy among the people which also weaken political institutions.
The Speaker said that Students activism helps to shape political process, increases quality democratic process like the ‘Ali must go’ unrest on 1978 due school fees increase and urged students to resist all forms of tyranny, thuggery and vices that may truncate democracy.
Challenging the students, Hon. Dogara said, “Nothing will be seeded or conceded to your generation without a fight. You must therefore vote and be voted for”. He said that there is an urgent need for a reform in the education sector, to include vocational training, skill acquisition with emphasis on science and technology education. He equally said that the legal hurdles creating a gap between university and technical education should be closed.
According to him, China explored Science and Technology to become an industrial giant while India rakes in over $100 billion annually from Information and Communication Technology ICT which grows at 30% annually.
He said that Nigerians should explore the ICT and Agriculture as option for job creation, saying that N100 billion loan have been made available by the Central Bank at a single interest, advising unemployed youths to cash in on the opportunity through the formation of cooperatives while government will avail them with technical assistance.
Hon. Dogara added that the National Assembly intends to lower the age qualification for certain elective position in the next constitution amendment to accommodate more youth participation. He challenged politicians to be available to the young people, just as he advised them not to be deterred despite the harsh situation, and to put all hands on deck for the creation of a new Nigeria.
Also Speaking, the Chairman, Young Parliamentarians Forum, Hon. Nnanna Ugokwe, said that the interaction is a forum where young people will interact with law makers to enable them be informed on democratic process.
The representative of the Clerk of the National Assembly and Secretary to the Directorate of Legal Services, National Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS D. T. Adams, said that the future of the country rests on young people, adding that the forum will broaden the knowledge of young people so that they will be informed on legislative process.
Senator Ali Ndume who represented the President of the Senate told them to engage themselves with the legislative process as students’ unionism drive government policies. “Leadership is you. You are the hope of this country” saying that students now indulge in all sorts of in social media ills, criminality and religious fanaticism, and often make strong statements on things they don’t know.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila told the students that the 7th NASS started a bill on education loan but it could get it into a bill before the end of the administration. For him, “Education is a right and not a priviledge”. He said the bill was aimed at setting up an education bank to give loans to indigent students at zero interest which they will begin to pay back as soon as they are employed, adding that it is unfortunate that teeming number of brilliant youths gain admissions but are unable to access university education due to paucity of funds.
In their address, the President of National Association of Nigerian Student NANS, Tijani Usman asked for a review of NANS laws so that Vice Chancellors will not be able to proscribe or suspend students’ unionism, but when there is a need, such should be handled by an independent body.
The meeting which was the first interactive session between the students body and the lawmakers was attended by over 300 hundred students, drawn from both public and private student bodies in Nigeria.
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