APC leaders convene meeting on unemployment

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

The APC leaders say the unemployment rate in the country is inimical to Nigeria’s development.

Governors of the All Progressive Congress, APC, controlled states and leaders of the party met in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Monday to discuss the rising unemployment among Nigerian youth.

The event was tagged Progressive Governance Lecture series.

The Imo State governor and Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, in his opening remark, lamented the unemployment rate in the country, describing it as unacceptable and inimical to the social, economic and political stability of the country.

“It also impacts negatively on our ambitions as a country: after all, how can Nigeria, with over 20 million youth who have no jobs and millions of others wasting away, claim that we want to be a major power in the comity of nations?

“That claim would be laughable if not tragic. Tragic because we come across as refusing to empower the youth on whose shoulders will rest the task of taking Nigeria to the next level. We can no longer remain insensitive to issues around unemployment and the crises of governance in Nigeria,” said Mr. Okorocha.

The event, which was well attended by the party leaders, led by their interim national chairman, Bisi Akande, was dedicated to dissecting the menace of youth unemployment and proffering solutions.

The guest lecturer, Ayo Teriba, presented a paper entitled: ‘Nigeria’s High Growth-High Unemployment paradox’.

He said the nation’s unemployment rate has increased threefold since the past 15 years of the Peoples Democratic Party Governance in Nigeria.

“Elected officials have been unable to translate growth to increased employment, largely because they have left the task of fiscal and monetary policy arrangement in the hands of appointees who have inadvertently made policy choice that have weakened growth, constrained domestic demand, and worsened the employment rate,” Mr. Teriba said.

The lecturer expressed the opinion that for Nigeria to effectively make democratic governance a tool for delivering tangible and enduring economic benefits, it must make monthly employment data available before the end of each month, fix rail transportation, rethink fiscal policy, refocus monetary policy, and ensure that elected officials accept responsibility for policy formulation and coordination.

The host Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, spoke about his journey as the state’s chief executive in the last 1,000 days.

He said his government has taken developmental strides, and redefined governance in the state.

“Before now, we are all aware of how blood-letting had become the order of the day. Oyo state is now a peaceful place to live in. As the dirtiest city in Africa, we have changed the face of the state, thereby attracting business investment, intellectual capacities, as well as youth empowerment,” the governor stated.



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