Speaker of the House of Representatives,Yakubu Dogara has expressed the commitment towards addressing high rate of unemployment in the country and also develop a desirable framework for tackling it as well as the corruption in its management.
Dogara made the remark at the opening session of a Public Hearing on “Extortion of employment seekers by government agencies” organised by the House Committee on labour Employment and Productivity yesterday in Abuja .
The Speaker who was represented by the Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. Binta Bello, noted that the heartless fraud on helpless unemployed youths by public agencies and recruitment firms was a fundamental government breach which needed to be tackled.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s unemployment rate was growing by at least 16 per cent each year stressing that poverty and unemployment were key contributors to the rise in crime and insurgency.
“If our teeming youth are gainfully employed; they would channel their energies and talents into mainstream society which Nigeria can harness in her drive towards industrialization and overall development.”
According to the speaker, “besides the spate of rising unemployment, recruitment exercises in the recent past conducted by many public organizations in Nigeria tend to showcase the level of exploitation faced by job-seeking Nigerians”.
“We insist however, that government owes it’s citizens the duty to either create jobs directly or to provide the appropriate environment for the creation of jobs by the private sector”.
“We need to be reminded perhaps, of the fact that the present administration has as a fundamental objective the task of job creation,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Hon. Francis Ezenwa said that Nigeria had one of the highest rate of unemployment which has reduced the purchasing power of the citizens.
He noted the urgent need to address the issue adding that government must revisit employment measures.
On her part, the Director Legal and Prosecution, Federal Character Commission said the commission, Mrs. Oluwatosin Bodunde informed the committee that the commission had put in place measures to stop MDAs from collecting money from Job seekers.
“Following the Nigerian Immigration Services recruitment chaos which led to loss of lives, the commission issued a circular wa to MDAs stopping them from charging job seekers money”.
“We advised all MDAs to include money for recruitment in their budget so as to avoid collecting money from job seekers,” she said.
Mr Clement Assam, the Legal Adviser, Federal Civil Service Commission, said the commission in it’s quest to address unemployment, had made available forms on the website for job seekers to fill and submit to the commission.
“In the past, we have had challenges of where unemployed people have it difficult to access the Civil Service form, but we have decided to make it easy for all by providing it online so every one can have access to the forms,” he said.
Mover of the motion that birthed the hearing, Hon. Joseph Edionwele called on the Government to strengthen personnel department of MDAs to enable them handle recruitment exercise.