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According to the Labour Statistics Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to 33.3℅ in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“The number of persons in the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q4, 2020 was 122,049,400. This is 4.3% higher than the figure recorded In Q2, 2020, which was 116.871, 186,” NBS said.

 

NBS added that in the case of unemployment by state, Imo state reported the highest rate of unemployment with 56.64%, followed by Adamawa and Cross River States with 54.89% and 53.65% respectively.

The States with the lowest rates were Osun, Benue, and the Zamfara States with 11.65%, 11.98% and 12.99% respectively.

Meanwhile, a publication by Bloomberg, reveals that unemployment in Nigeria, the Africa’s largest economy has surged to the second-highest on the global list.

The publication stated that Nigeria surpassed South Africa on a list tracked from 82 countries, revealing that Namibia still leads the list with 33.4%.

Many concerned Nigerians who spoke with us correspondent, expressed worries over the alarming rate of poverty amid joblessness among Nigerians, especially the youths.

An On-Air Personality, Jude Adanu who spoke to our correspondent from Benue State, said the report indicated that Nigeria is rather retrogressing instead of making viable progress like other nations of the world.

 

“The question is, where are we going to, back or front? There is hardship in the land, and it seems no one cares.

“People are dying of hunger on a daily basis due to lack of jobs. While you are trying to assume your responsibility as a father and husband, your grown-up siblings who are supposed to be established with their own family, still depend on you for common feeding,” he added.

We recalls a desperate move by a young man identified as Ogebe Abutu who took to the street of Abuja in 2020 with a banner seeking for a job.

In a video that circulated on social media, the desperate job seeker said he had no form of job and was ready to work if provided with any.

Displayed on the banner was his mobile number and a ‘mini CV.

Abutu who ignored peers’ opinion, stormed the street begging for help in what can be concluded as frustration.

According to the inscription on the banner, the young man also promised to provide jobs for another unemployed person if given a loan.

The banner read, “Somebody please help me with a job or a loan. I will create a job, help others. Trust me.”

In an interview with us, the State Coordinator, African Youths Union Commission (AYUC), Benue State Chapter, Mr Aguredam Keghter Moses, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise of annual creation of job opportunities has failed.

 

According to him, “Just like this federal government recently advised the people to look for modus of protecting themselves, yes security is everyone one’s business, but it is more of the governments business than any other person because the primary function of the government is the protection of her citizenry.

“Secondly, making sure that people have jobs and are catered for. I clearly remember when this Government came on board with the promises of job creation yearly. Today, what is the situation like?

 

“To say the fact, many have lost hope in this present administration and I don’t think there is more they can offer.
”Youths are, therefore, advised to look for legitimate means of survival, like venturing into agriculture, and skill acquisition for their daily upkeep.

“I express worry because, much of the problem of insecurity is the result of unemployment. Now, the most flourishing business is kidnapping and banditry because they get rewarded, so what is the government saying indirectly?”

 

A job seeker, Mr Onome James who said he completed his one-year mandatory service under the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, in 2010, told our correspondent that the Nigerian Government is reluctant on job creation.

“They will announce recruitment but when you apply, it’s either they tell you it’s cancelled or just like that. You will not hear from them again.

“For instance, the Nigerian Security And Civil Defence Corps announced recruitment in 2019 which we participated in the registration exercise but till this moment, no reasonable response.

 

“The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced recruitment last year and we quickly applied without any form of hesitation but till now, nothing has been heard about it.

“Sometimes in 2020, we applied for the Nigerian Youths Investment Fund (NYIF) with the belief that we can get capital to start up a small business but our hope has been dashed as the government seems to have forgotten, ” he stated.

 

Similarly, a security personnel who pleaded not to be mentioned for fear of victimization attributed the rising insecurity across the country to lack of employment opportunities.

“They said ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ Someone who is not engaged in any work would always think of the crime to commit.

“A man who has a job will not relocate to the forest to look for how to launch mayhem on innocent people.

 

“If the government can solve the issue of unemployment in this country, criminality will drastically reduce,” he said.

Meanwhile, a fashion designer, Miss Monica Olalekan, told our correspondent in Abuja that, “in the face of an employment crisis like this, entrepreneurship is the only way forward”.

She told usthat she acquired her designing skill during her NYSC days, adding that she initially took it for granted but the country’s employment reality forced her to pick it as a career.

 

According to her, “In Nigeria, it doesn’t matter your academic qualification. If you don’t embrace handwork, you may have to wait for your whole life.

“We all know that it is the responsibility of the government to make jobs available for the youths, but sometimes it is good that we help ourselves when they fail to help us.”

When asked if she still applies for a Federal Government job, she said, “I don’t think I need any other job as I am now. I only need capital to enlarge my business”.

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Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Gov is deadObadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Gov is dead

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Obadiah Mailafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is dead.

Mailafia, the 64-year-old reportedly passed away on Sunday morning at the National Hospital Abuja.

Recall that Obadiah Mailafia stirred controversy after he granted an interview accusing most top government officials of sponsoring terrorism in Nigeria.

Confirming his death, Fani-Kayode on his Twitter page wrote: “I am saddened by the passing of my dear friend & brother Mr. Obadiah Mailafiya who was one of the most powerful and progressive voices in our country. I was informed that he passed on this morning. He was a great nationalist, a believer in Nigeria, a kind and gentle soul.”

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APGA disowns Jude Njoku as Party National Chairman, insists on Oye

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The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has refuted viral claims of a court pronouncement affirming Chief Edozie Njoku as the party’s national chairman.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance is currently battling a leadership crisis that has led to the emergence of several factions, coupled with court litigations among each of the factions claiming to be the authentic elected national working committee (NWC) of the party.

A party chieftain, Edozie Njoku had approached the federal high court and sought among other reliefs, a declaration of the court in his favour as the National Chairman of APGA.

He also prayed the court to mandate Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise him as the National Chairman of APGA and to stop recognizing Victor Ike Oye as the National Chairman of the party.

However, APGA, in a statement by its Chairman in Imo State, John Iwuala, while clarifying the outcome of court proceedings in the matter between Oye and Njoku held Friday, said Njoku breached part rules by appearing in court with a new lawyer.

“Trouble started in the court when he, (Edozie Njoku) in his usual way brought a lawyer for APGA as against the National legal adviser of the party, Sly Ezenwoke Esq. The question now is: who is to represent APGA as lawyer among the duo? he asked.

“After series of deliberations, the court later asked both lawyers to file briefs and decided to pronounce the authentic lawyer at the end of the matter on judgement. This decision did not go down well with Dr Oye and APGA, hence they approached the court of Appeal.

“On Friday, 17 Sept. 202, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division directed that the matter be sent back to the Federal High Court for continuation. There is nothing beyond this.

“The court of Appeal has every right to invoke the authorities of Order 47 of the court of Appeal Act to assume jurisdiction as the court of first instance but didn’t want to do so as the substance of the case has already been dealt with by three appeal court judgements via Kano, Awka and Enugu respectively.

“It baffled the leadership of APGA Imo State Chapter how these fake news peddlers behave in a myopic way of feeding the public with fake news. This calls for a cry of reasoning and ecology of reasonableness.

“It must be recalled that this matter emanated from Bauchi State, where the plaintiff and his co-travellers went for “forum shopping’ to deceive the judge who on sighting danger that both plaintiff and defendant are same persons, sponsored by the same person, just trying to mislead the court, washed his hands off from it, the case was transferred to Abuja and Dr Victor Ike Oye was notified of the ongoing matter. What they specialize in is to sue, bring their lawyer and bring a lawyer for the defendant without the knowledge of the defendant until judgement is secured. That was what they did in Jigawa. Though the court of Appeal Kano division has set it aside and declared *Dr Oye as the duly elected and authentic National Chairman of APGA in a well organized and INEC monitored National Convention held on 31st May 2019.

“With the return of this matter to the High Court yesterday (Friday) from the court of Appeal Abuja, the matter is as good as dead as the High court lacks jurisdiction to hear any matter of which substance has already been heard and finally determined by the Court of Appeal. This one, three appeal court judgements in favour of Dr Oye including the award of N10m against Edozie Njoku for disturbing APGA and the courts of the land.

“I am seeing another N10m award against him soon. I wish with this, the reading public, especially our Anambra indigenes resident here in Imo State can remain calm and unperturbed over the fake news.

“We all know the pains you pass through when this fake, fabricated and malicious news came up as it has to do with the emergence of Prof Chukwuma Soludo as the next Governor of Anambra State, come November 2021”.

APGA accused political jobbers of peddling the fake viral news to mislead the reading public as part of their failed strategies to truncate the party’s chances for the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra state.

 

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Nigerian health workers issue fresh strike notice, lists demands

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The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have issued a fresh notice of industrial action.

The notice confirms negotiations with the government is still ongoing as the recent strike notice expired the night of September 17.

JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Matthew Ajorutu, said an Expanded National Executive Council (NEC) emergency meeting of the unions was held on Friday.

In attendance were the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

The session appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the federal government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

Ajorutu noted that NEC discussed the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the pledge to pay any debt owed to health workers.

The scribe disclosed NEC received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the fresh strike notice starting September 18.

Ajorutu asked the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

The unions urged that the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to FG’s High-Level Body (HLB) not later than September 22, as agreed.

”NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High-Level Body (HLB) completes and submits the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the Sept. 30th, submission window.

”NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window”, the joint statement added.

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