The House of Representatives has called the Federal government to bail out failed companies to combat unemployment. These among other resolutions by the House are sequel to a motion sponsored by James Faleke during plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion, Faleke expressed concerns about the alarming 1.3 million new graduates the country is producing every year from the over 170 accredited universities for the National Youth Service Scheme. Faleke stated that there are an estimated 20 million unemployed graduates in Nigeria at the moment.
“The above number does not include those graduates who are excluded from national service on account of age. Or who attend other institutions of higher learning that do not present candidates for national service. This includes holders of the Ordinary National Diploma (OND), National Certificate in Education (NCE) and those who attend the National Open University,” he said.
Faleke noted that, if these industries are resuscitated through bail out and the issuing of tax incentives to these companies, it will assist in alleviating the unemployment rate faced by graduates in the country.
Also, speaking on the motion, Aminu Suleiman from Kano State supported the idea of government bail out for distressed companies. However, he noted that the more important issue of power needs to be addressed.
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“Even if government provides the bail out like it did during former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, it will still not solve the problem if we don’t address the issue of power. We need to address the issue of power no matter the money it will cost.”
In addition, he noted that stakeholders involved should engage the Federal Government in discussions. These, he noted, would help find out what should actually be done on the issue.
Further speaking in support, Emeka Azubogu noted that there will be need for holistic review of the economy.
“We need a knowledge-based economy. There are already existing policies that we need to rejig. There are many incentives by the CBN. These are facts we need to look at holistically. I also thank the president for the Economic Advisory Council,” he contributed.
However, Joseph Adejare from Lagos argued that the motion should have been a bill. He said: “This should not just come as a motion but a bill to tackle this issue squarely. Talking about power, if we continue to wait for it to be restored we won’t be able to achieve this”.
The other resolutions are for the Federal Government to embark on massive vocational training activities. The House of Representatives held that this will prevent much reliance on the government sector to provide jobs.
In addition, a resolution was passed for the empowerment of the National Directorate of Employment to help in reducing unemployment.