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NLC raises alarm over increasing level of unemployment

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NLC raises concern over increasing level of unemployment

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has raised concerns over the increasing rate of unemployment and underemployment in the country. President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, speaking at the 12th Delegates Conference yesterday in Abuja, lamented that the over dependence on crude oil for the sustenance of the economy and dwindling state of the country’s industrialization, were reasons behind what he described as skyrocketing rate of unemployment and underemployment.


“The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report for the third quota of 2018 indicates that the general number of persons unemployed in the country has increased by 3.3 million. The report further indicates that the combined rate of unemployment and under-employment rose from 40.0 per cent in the 2017 third quarter to 43.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. “We should be worried that the increased pool of graduates, skilled and unskilled youth in the unemployment market, especially rural unemployment is a time bomb. Any attempt to sack workers under any guise as it happened in Kaduna State will complicate the situation.


“In 2016, we witnessed an 80 per cent increase in the pump price of refined petroleum products. Our national currency, the Naira, also suffered massive devaluation of up to 120 per cent. The resultant inflation has almost entirely wiped off the purchasing power of workers and citizens.


According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Nigeria soared to a record high of 23.01 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. “The over dependence of our economy on crude oil revenue and the mismanagement of our vast oil wealth through corruption perpetrated by successive governments continue to expose us to severe shocks from price fluctuation in the international crude oil market. This was how we landed in the last recession.


“While we commend the efforts of the current government on economic diversification, particularly through agriculture, we are not unmindful of serious structural issues that undermine the progress being made, deeply limit inclusive growth and impact negatively on sustainable development. We will therefore continue to call on government to pay serious attention to these issues,” he said.


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