The Senate yesterday raised alarm over the rising unemployment rate in the country and consequently directed the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, as well as the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to immediately step up measures to arrest the situation.
President of the Senate, David Mark particularly decried the alarming rate of unemployment, saying the rate was worrisome, as it was not a matter that has to do with a data bank of the unemployed, but rather a very serious matter that should be treated with urgency. “There is a database, but it is not functioning properly. Something has to be done about it immediately,” he said.
The resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodimma (PDP, Imo) and 40 others.
Moving the motion, Uzodinma decried the high rate of unemployment in the country and urged the reactivation of job creation centres in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, and in all the 774 local government areas.
Doing so, he added, would help in actualising the goal of maintenance of a comprehensive and regularly updated database on the unemployed in the country.
He prayed the Senate to prevail on the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create and maintain a database for the generation of relevant demographic indicators for job creation in the country.
Uzodinma noted that the absence of a database to determine the exact number of unemployed persons in the country was not helping national economic planning, particularly where addressing the unemployment problem in the country was concerned.
“Unless urgent steps are taken to put things right, the drought of data for the labour market, particularly on the unemployment situation in the country including the reactivation of the job centres in the 36 states and Abuja and the 774 local government areas, will remain unaddressed, to the detriment of the national economy and to the disadvantage of policy makers in the private and public sectors,” he said.
All senators were unanimous in lamenting the high rate of unemployment in the country and blamed the situation on poor implementation of employment related policies in the country.
Meanwhile, a bill seeking to ensure the safety of employees in work places in the country has passed through second reading in the Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Chris Anyanwu (PDP, Imo), has provisions that will compel employers of labour to put in place responsible safety measures that ensure high safety and health standards in work places in the country.
The bill also makes it mandatory for every work place to develop an emergency plan for workers, as well as to massively educate employees on the health hazards in workplaces.
Leading the debate on the bill, Senator Anyanwu described the bill as a “tough law” which had been laced with provisions to ensure compliance by stakeholders.