Accurate data availability key to achieving stipends for unemployed Nigerians – NECA


The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to ensure that accurate data is necessary to achieve funding for unemployed Nigerians until they get employed.

The Senate had urged the Federal Government to initiate a sustainable unemployment fund to pay stipends to jobless Nigerians.

This was part of the Senate’s resolution after consideration of motion sponsored by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, titled: Escalating Unemployment Rate in the Country.

But NECA said the absence of reliable data, among others might make its implementation difficult.

It’s Director-General, Dr. Timothy Olawale said though the Senate resolution might increase the disposable income of unemployed youths and stimulate consumption; but has the potential to reduce social malaise and the general hopelessness pervading the ranks of the youths, and there are issues that must be addressed before its implementation.

“One critical success factor is the availability of accurate data. It is important to know the number of Nigerians that are actually unemployed to forestall the programme becoming another scheme bedevilled with patronage.

“Also of importance is the funding and administration of the project. The project was not captured in the 2020 Appropriation Act, thus it is worrisome where the funds to bankroll it will come from. It is hoped that government will not further burden the already overtaxed private businesses.”

Olawale said all the social intervention programmes of the Federal Government have been cosmetic and short-term in nature without potential to solve the real issues of unemployment.

“Government at all levels must take a more than cursory look at the private sector. More deliberate effort should be put in place to support the organised private sector (OPS) to grow and create jobs by ensuring a favourable operating environment.

“Businesses are currently overburdened with different forms of taxes and levies, inadequate infrastructures and unfriendly regulatory environment. Herein lays the solution to the teething unemployment scourge of our nation,” he said.

Olawale also praised the Visa on Arrival Policy of the Federal Government.

He said the policy will remove barriers that have hindered free movement of people within the continent.

“This policy will not only allow for free movement of people but will promote the ease of doing business in the country. It is worthy of note that this initiative is coming at a time when Nigeria is poised to maximise the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).”The NECA chief urged the Federal Government to institute mechanisms that would make the process seamless and hassle-free.

He said the overall essence of the policy is for travellers to be saved from the hassles of never-ending paperwork and standing in long queues.

Olawale urged the Federal Government to strengthen the capacity of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and other relevant agencies of government in the actualisation of this policy, so as to guarantee the full implementation of the visa on arrival policy. We expect the process to be easy and to eliminate constraints that would impede its success.

He said for a successful implementation and national security, efforts should be made to check abuse of the new policy and curtail the influx of questionable characters into the country.

He said while the policy has the potential to open up the economy and facilitate ease of doing business, the security of the country should, however, not be compromised.

As done in other climes, a fool-proof background check and scrutiny mechanism should be put in place before visas are issued to applicants, he said.

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