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Nigerian students afraid to leave school due to unemployment, Saraki tells Buhari
Bukola Saraki, Senate President has told President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerian students are afraid of graduating and leaving school due to the prevailing unemployment in the country.
“Looking around today, we see that many of our undergraduates are apprehensive about their graduation day; and our National Youth Corps members are not looking forward to the end of the service year, for fear of being tagged unemployed,” Saraki said during his opening remarks at the presentation of the 2018 proposed budget to the joint session of the National Assembly by Buhari on Tuesday.
Saraki urged Buhari to make the 2018 budget, termed ‘budget of consolidation’, a job oriented one.
“While I commend your current efforts at tackling unemployment – especially among the youth through Federal Youth Programmes such as YouWin, N-Power, and YES-Programme – deliberate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget a job oriented one,” Saraki said
Saraki also advised the President on the need for equity and balanced development across the entire spread of the country.
He said: “Let me now talk about mainstreaming social inclusion. Mr. President, each and every Nigerian wants to be part of the economic progress. We must never lose sight of the need for equity and balanced development across the entire spread of our country.
“Infrastructural development should be seen to be well distributed, to create growth pools away from the major city centres and drive the regeneration of our rural areas.
“Agriculture, for instance, is meaningless without those that will engage in farming in the countryside. The current rate of rural-to-urban migration is alarming and unsustainable – congesting the cities and stretching resources to breaking point, while undermining the economic viability of some states. People must be able to see a future for themselves in every corner of this country, not just in the big cities.”
On the achievement of exiting recession, the Senate President said that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have meaning.
His words: “As we are all aware, many businesses were adversely affected by the recession; many lost their means of livelihood. As the country emerges from that period of uncertainty, the question on the lips of many Nigerians has been this: How does the recovery translate into tangible economic benefits for me? We must remember that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have meaning.
People are seeking to get back to work but cannot find jobs. Entrepreneurs want to restart their businesses but are finding it difficult to access the needed capital. As for our farmers, the last thing they want is for produce to go to waste because people cannot afford to buy.”
Saraki warns against sliding back into recession after exiting it saying “As the country gradually recovers, it is important to reset the fundamentals that drive our economy – so we do not slide back into recession.
“We must reassess the relationship between oil and our economy. Oil prices are gradually inching up, but that is no reason for complacency in our diversification drive. We must grow our economy away from oil – as well as the need to increase non-oil revenue generation and collection.”
He noted that the implementation of the 2018 budget must also be anchored on the Made-In-Nigeria project
“In line with that, we must see to the implementation of the Procurement law, with particular relevance to the part that has to do with support for Made-In-Nigeria goods. The implementation of the 2018 budget must anchor on the Made-In-Nigeria project. This should be reflected in government procurements in 2018.” He said