Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on unemployment among youths in the country.
Saraki, who represents Kwara Central senatorial district in at the National Assembly, stated this in Ilorin yesterday, at a one-day technical summit for unemployed youths in Kwara State entitled: ‘Youths Unemployment in Kwara State, The Way Forward’.
According to him, “Despite all the persisting unemployment problem, there is much we can do and we need to take our destiny in our hands and proffer solutions because the boys and girls that are unemployed are Nigerians.”
He said: “There is every need to extend the declaration of state of emergency to youths’ unemployment. We have done it in the power and water sectors among others and it has worked out well.”
Saraki, who is also the immediate past governor of Kwara State, said: “According to the National Population Commission (NPC), youths account for 65 per cent of the Nigerian population and 23.9 per cent of the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
“In comparison to other countries like Brazil, which has a working population of over 130 million and unemployment rate of around 14 per cent and South Africa with a population of over 52 million has unemployment of almost 40 per cent.
“In Kwara State, the current unemployment rate is nine per cent, the second lowest in the country. There cannot be any stability, peaceful environment and prosperity of any sort with this level of youth unemployment.”
The lawmaker, however, emphasised on entrepreneurship promotion as the new trend particularly to address the challenges related to alarming high youth unemployment rate.
“It also offers pathways for young people to overcome the problem of unemployment. I am of the view that special attention must paid to social entrepreneurship mode which should be infused in the real economy closer to the youth within local environment,” Saraki said.