Nigerians united by unemployment-Aremu
Nigeria must create industrial and sustainable jobs for its over 113million citizens living below poverty line, a labour delegate at the National Conference Comrade Issa Aremu has said.
“According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 112.519 million Nigerians of the country’s estimated 179 million population live in relative poverty conditions,” he said.
He said the recent Immigration recruitment tragedy shows the country is united by unemployment and underemployment. “There is no ‘Muslim’ or ‘Christian’ unemployed! There are Nigerian unemployed,” he said.
He said Nigeria’s 112million poor are four times the 22 million population of Uganda and eight times population of Zambian Republic.
He said government should create industrial and sustainable jobs, adding that “okada riding is not a decent sustainable job. Selling orbit chewing gum or recharge cards is not a sustainable job.”
“The best sustainable jobs that can pay minimum wages and pensions are industrial jobs. Industrialization and value additions are the only ways to sustainable development,” the labour chieftain said.
He said “we must rise from this conference to urgently re-industrialize the country. With apology to the great African writer, late Chinua Achebe, there was once a country that had good things including industries.”
One of these industries, he said, was UNTL. “In 1995 when in full production, UNTL employed 10,000 direct jobs twice the Immigration 4,500 vacancies. UNTL employed thousands not through stampede and deaths of applicants that characterized limited public employment vacancies of late,” he said.
He said Nigeria should take its leading panAfrican leadership role in the country, saying “Nigeria cannot be at peace when the rest of Africa is at war and neck deep in avoidable conflicts. So, also if Nigeria is not at peace with itself, Africa can hardly prosper. We are natural leader of the African continent.”