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NLC calls for policy response to address unemployment

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The General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr Peter Eson-Ozo, has urged the Federal Government to develop a policy that will address the increasing rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

Eson-Ozo made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has predicted that global youth unemployment rate will rise by 13.1 per cent at the end of 2016 and 2017 from 12.9 per cent at the end of 2015.

Eson-Ozo said that the global unemployment projections were gloomy, adding that the situation in Nigeria might even be gloomier.

“This is because the way things are now, given all the economic parameters, we are actually faced with a situation in which the unemployment rate in Nigeria will continue to rise.

“If we take that along with the underemployment and disguised employment, we find that really, it is a very high rate, much higher than the global average.

“The world economy itself, the dynamics of the world economy into the next two years, will not create or turn the job market around.

“It is also frightening because apart from our local economic issues, the global economic environment will not even be supportive of our getting out quickly from the present situation.‘’

He said that there was the need for the Federal Government to put together a policy that would address the economic situation in the country.

“As of now, we do not seem to have a policy response that shows where we are in the economy.

“Today you talk of foreign exchange management policy response, tomorrow you talk of interest rate, and you know economic isolation will not address this problem.

“We need to put together a comprehensive plan to address the situation in the economy and I believe that it is only then that we can start to turn around the economy.”

The NLC general secretary, however, said that if the economy was not revived, employment would not be created, rather the issue of unemployment would continue to worsen.

He said that the ILO report on the increase of unemployment at the global level was a wake-up call to all.

He said this was also an indication to Nigeria that all hands must be on deck to create job opportunities for the unemployed youths in the country.

“We need to do something urgently in order to start tackling the unemployment problem in the country,” he said.