A bill seeking an amendment to the National Directorate of Employment Act, CAP. N28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and for Other Related Matters sponsored by Representative Bamidele was today, 25th March, 2021 passed for second reading in the House of Representatives.
While moving the motion for second reading of the Bill, Rep. Salam, the member representing the good people of Ede north, Ede south, Egbedore and Ejigbo federal constituency of Osun state said it is pertinent to note that most recent statistics indicates that Nigeria has the second highest number of unemployed persons in the world.
He pointed out that, the unemployment and underemployment rates in Nigeria rose to 33.3% between October and December, 2020 according to a report published by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to him, “it is also disheartening that research has shown that a third of the 69.75 million labour force in Africa’s most populous nation either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week.
“It is also worth noting that our Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and other Tertiary institutions turn-out hundreds of thousands of young graduates some of whom are excellent in academics and characters while some are simply not employable in view of deficiencies in our academic curriculum.
“Solving these problems therefore require a creative, wholistic and proactive legislative intervention which this Bill aims at”.
The legislative brief of the Bill indicate that it is essentially seeking to: Change the name of the Directorate to National Agency for Job Creation and Human Capital Development to give it a better sense of purpose and bring it in line with best global practices;
Review the objective of the National Directorate of Employment in a manner as to give the Agency better focus and organizational drive to create jobs and improve on the human capital of our youths;
Review the composition of the Board in order to allow for a broad spectrum of public and private sector collaboration and involvement in the formulation of appropriate policies and programmes to facilitate job creation in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy;
Enhance the funding regime of the Agency so that it can serve as a hub of access to credit for our teeming youths who are interested in entrepreneurship and small scale businesses; and
Domicile the Agency directly in the Presidency as a way of galvanizing more attention to the problem of unemployment and removing bureaucratic bottlenecks in its operations”.
Rep. Salam further said he is of the considered view that rather than create a new Agency which will increase cost of governance, the current National Directorate of Employment Act should be amended and given the needed strength to combat one of the serious challenges facing the country which is youths unemployment.
“I believe that if Nigeria is able to solve the problems of unemployment, other problems bothering on insecurity, youth restiveness, cultism and cybercrime will be substantially tackled. I therefore wish to seek for your support that this amendment passes through the Second Reading and eventual passage into law”, he concluded.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila put it for consideration of members and it received an overwhelming support.
It was further referred to the Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity for further legislative action.