The Nigerian government has directed all its missions abroad to compile a list of citizens willing to return home.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this on Friday in a statement by the spokesperson for the agency, Abdur-Rahman Balogun.
She explained that the directive was sequel to requests by some Nigerians stranded abroad in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dabiri-Erewa urged interested Nigerians to inform the missions in the various countries they are in, who would then collate and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She, however, said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed that the financial implications would be borne by the prospective evacuees, who would be compulsorily quarantined when they return.
The NIDCOM boss asked Nigerians stranded abroad willing to return home to key into the window by providing their information to the mission in their respective host countries.
She noted that while embassies in several countries were also on lockdown, those interested could go online and fill a form provided on the commission’s website.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has warned Nigerians to be vigilant against criminal elements
Adamu also asked the citizens to take precautionary steps against some individuals who might explore the emergency situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic to increase and diversify their criminal activities.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, the “IGP’s advice is informed by intelligence at the disposal of the Force which suggests that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown emplaced by Government at all levels to contain the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.”
According to Mba, “intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (COVID-19) medical products.”
The police spokesman noted that the fraudsters use names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items.
Speaking further, Mba explained that victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.
On how to prevent being a victim, the police advised Nigerians to avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments, ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely, use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles.
He also wants the citizens to keep their software updated, including antivirus software, manage their social media settings and to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has enjoined members of the public to remain vigilant and take precautionary actions against criminal elements who might explore the emergency situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic to increase and diversify their criminal activities.
The IGP’s advice is informed by intelligence at the disposal of the Force which suggests that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown emplaced by Government at all levels to contain the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Specifically, intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (COVID-19) medical products. In some cases, they use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items. Victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.
The IGP, therefore, enjoins the public to strictly adhere to the following security tips:
i. Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments; ii. Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely; iii. Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles; iv. Keep your software updated, including antivirus software; v. Manage your social media settings and review your privacy and security settings; vi. You are advised to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products; vii. You are advised to ignore and report calls purportedly emanating from a caller who pretends to be a relative currently being treated at the hospital asking you to pay for the cost of the medical treatment by transferring money or by paying cash to fake public health representatives; viii. Do not open letters or emails related to the pandemic from unknown persons who claim to be health authorities. Often times criminals access sensitive information, steal personal information and steal funds of victims by tricking them into connecting to a specific webpage and logging-in with their credentials; ix. Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation/disinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles; x. Educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline; xi. If you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police.
Against the foregoing, the IGP has placed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja – Nigeria on red alert. The NCB which houses the cybercrime unit of the Force shall in the coming days and beyond work closely with other Interpol member states across the globe particularly to carry out intense monitoring of the internet highway in the most legitimate and ethical manner. This is to engender concerted efforts in cracking down on any individual or all forms of organized criminal gangs that may want to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to perpetrate crimes.
The Force also enjoins commercial bank operators to strengthen their online banking security systems and report promptly any suspected case of fraud and other cybercrime-related activities in their banks.
While reaffirming the determination of the Nigeria Police Force in providing support services to relevant agencies saddled with the task of curtailing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGP assures the public that the Force is unrelenting in clamping down on criminals who may want to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate criminal acts.
DCP FRANK MBA FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER FORCE HEADQUARTERS ABUJA
“The IGP enjoins citizens to avoid social visits to police stations and other police offices and minimize official visits, except where absolutely necessary.
“The IGP further directs that adequate measures be emplaced to screen persons to be committed into police custody,” he stated.
Adamu also directed zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and state police commissioners to strictly enforce the directives on social restriction order imposed by the government in their respective jurisdiction.
He also ordered the closure of all institutions owned by the Force in line with the Federal Government’s directives on the closure of all schools in the country.
“Also, in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive that all tertiary institutions be shut, the IGP has ordered the immediate closure of the Nigeria Police Academy as well as all Police Primary and Secondary Schools nationwide.
“The Force Medical Services has been empowered and directed to step up sensitisation programmes across Commands, Formations and Barracks in the country,” he stated.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) says the Federal Government remains committed to taking millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
Malami said this on Tuesday at the distribution of microloans to 1,500 women and youths in Kebbi State organised by the National Directorate of Employment.
According to him, the singular action of empowering Nigerians with macro loans for boosting small scale business activities demonstrates the government’s efforts in that regard.
Speaking further, the minister also noted that achieving economically productive, socially responsible and culturally viable womenfolk requires systematic and consistent efforts, as women constitute a critical sector and essential component to reckon with for any meaningful national development.
The AGF said he was optimistic that the microloan given would boost business activities in the area especially in view of the forthcoming Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festivals.
According to him, in addition to facilitating job creation through the establishment of new ministries, departments and agencies, the Federal Government is committed to massive employment of teaming Nigerian populace in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies including security and paramilitary sectors.
While congratulating the beneficiaries of the scheme, Malami urged them to make judicious use of the funds provided.
3,188 Nigerians were reportedly atrociously killed in 2019.
This is according to a report by Global Rights, an international non-governmental organisation championing human rights capacity building.
The report shows that 3,188 Nigerians, including 2,707 civilians and 481 security operatives were killed.
The report, presented to journalists by a former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu and a co-convener of the Bring-Back-Our-Girls campaigner, Aisha Yesufu, said this was due to violent incidents in the country.
The reports showed Borno State topping the casualty figure list with 728; while Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Taraba recorded 450, 280, 254 and 181 respectively.
An in-depth analysis of the report showed that violence-related deaths were recorded in every state in Nigeria with Abia notably the least impacted, with one death recorded.
In March, at least 276 people were killed in violent incidents across the nation, these occurred largely with the background of the state level elections which were held that month, and relatedly, about 45% of these deaths were incidental to this. #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
In February, at least 238 persons died. A fair number of the violent incidences nationwide were attributable to the acrimoniously contested Presidential elections. Disaggregated, at least: 213 civilians 21 soldiers and 4 police officers were killed. #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
Our tracking of casualties of conflicts, violent clashes and extrajudicial killings across Nigeria for 2019 informs that at 3188 lives were lost between January and December 2019 as a result of violent incidents which include: #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReportpic.twitter.com/Kj32lkboRL
In April, at least 412 persons were killed. In that month, we observed a shocking rise in the number of deaths resulting from the menace of ‘bandits’ that had widened their dragnets beyond Zamfara, Katsina, and Katsina states to other parts of the North, distressing residents.
May 2019 recorded at least 310 deaths including the extra judicial killings of citizens by security forces in different parts of the country. Iconic at the period was the brutal murder of Mr. Kolade Johnson by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
in Lagos State. Security forces also suffered loses. At least 7 military bases in the North-East were overrun by Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents and at least 53 Nigerian soldiers lost their lives in the unfortunate incidents. #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
Other deaths resulted from the herdsmen/farmer resource crises, banditry and cult/gang clashes. In these on a positive note for Benue state, we note that the Gyenku killings and the clash which occurred between farmers & herders in Agatu were the only incidents of mass violence.
In July, there were at least 251 deaths from violent clashes. While ethnoreligious violence wreaked havoc on the Benue Valley region (Benue, Plateau, Taraba), some states in the southern region of the country struggled with gang clashes (Rivers, Lagos, Delta, and Bayelsa States).
There was also a recognition of the spread of the ‘banditry’ phenomenon beyond Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states, to other parts of the North-West region, particularly Kebbi and Sokoto states. #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
In August there were at least 312 casualties from mass atrocities across the country. The casualties recorded were from extrajudicial killings perpetrated by security personnel, banditry, and terrorism.#NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
Of particularly tragic note was the extrajudicial killing by officers of the Nigerian Army of three Police officers in Taraba State on a covert mission to arrest a notorious kidnapper. #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
In August, Given the exponential rise in kidnap cases across the country, we considered it important to also begin to track this phenomenon as well. Kidnappings in 2019 became more commercial in nature. Victims were targeted or randomly kidnapped in both urban and rural settings
and on highways. The infamous KadunaAbuja highway constituted a hotspot for abductions, in spite of several security checkpoints along the length of the road. The North-West has also suffered from this phenomenon for close to a year, particularly in Katsina and Zamfara states.
In September at least 260 persons across 26 states died in incidents of violence including: serial killings, banditry, herders’ attacks; gang clashes, extrajudicial killings, Boko Haram attacks etc. #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
In October at least 179 persons were killed. We noted that the number of incidents related to isolated killings and random abduction in highways, urban and rural areas decreased by a considerable margin, compared to the month of September.
The numbers were slightly lower compared to 2018 in which period we recorded 3,428 deaths (A difference of 240 killings). Disaggregated, there were at least: 481 security personnel and 2707 civilians killed.#NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReport
Another interesting facts, are the vast areas of ungoverned spaces in Northern Nigeria & the vast ungovernable waters of the south south which have formed territories for violent actors in these regions. We had difficulties documenting sexual violence #NigeriaMassAtrocitiesReportpic.twitter.com/UcbQ2b4hXP
Yesterday we held a press conference to disseminate our report on mass atrocities in Nigeria for 2019. Having spent the last year tracking the violence and recording only deaths that can be collaborated by 2 source, we recorded 3188 deaths for 2019 #NigeriaMassAtrocitesReportpic.twitter.com/VqFle7fWKX
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the leadership of the National Assembly will no longer tolerate the unnecessary killing of Nigerians.
Presiding over Thursday’s plenary in the Senate, Lawan decried that the security of the country was being threatened by criminals.
He, therefore, demanded a complete restructuring of the security architecture of the Nigeria Police Force, as well as equipping police training institutions and training of men and officers of the Force.
A Sinking Fund
The Senate President stated this in his concluding remarks on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act and enact the Nigeria Police Bill, 2019 to provide for a framework for the Police Service.
He said, “We are in a very unusual time. When Nigeria was at war at one stage, there was a very rigorous recruitment of soldiers because the situation demanded that.
“I think we are in a similar situation and it is only fair for us as leaders of this country to take this challenge.”
“This bill should consider the restructuring of the command and structure of the Police. The present structure is not working, the Police Trust Fund is already accruing, the last count I was told there was about N52 billion or so, but it is not about throwing money to the Police.
“You need to adjust the structure, otherwise that money will just be a sinking fund,” he added.
The Right Side Of History
The Senate President stressed that the need for the government to be in a hurry to recruit, train and retrain security personnel.
According to him, equipping the police training institutions is supposed to be one vital aspect of getting the security arrangements right.
Lawan believed this must be done in a hurry, even if it means going for a supplementary budget.
“The kind of situation we are in, with the lives that are lost on a daily basis, is something we cannot tolerate, and in fact, we should be on the right side of history,” he stated.
The Senate President made the remarks after a debate on the bill sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs. Senator Haliru Jika.
In his lead debate, Senator Jika explained that the piece of legislation sought primarily to provide for the framework for the Police Service.
He said it was also aimed at ensuring cooperation and partnership between the police and communities in order to maintain peace and combat crime and insecurity in the country.
Another batch of 161 Nigerians has returned from Mitiga in Libya, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The NEMA Acting Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office, Ibrahim Farinloye, received the returnees who landed the country at 9:15pm on Thursday.
According to Farinloye, the returnees came back courtesy of the European Union and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) aboard AL Buraq air with flight number UZ189 and registration number 5A-DMA.
The returnees comprised of 48 female adults, four female children, five female infants, 102 male adults, one male child, and one infant male.
Other agencies that were present to welcome them from the North African nation include the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Police, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and National Commission for Refugees and Migration.
The recent batch of returnees means 14,045 Nigerians are back to the country with 8,200 of them males and 5,845 females.
One of the returnees, Mercy Olatinde (not real names), from Akure, Ondo State, while narrating her ordeal, revealed that she left the country while she was 19.
According to her, she spent one year and three months before she decided to return to Nigeria, explaining that she left the country due to pressure on her.
Olatinde said her mum had mental health issues and the father of her child left just as she had to take care of her siblings, also.
“My mum relations and friends abandoned us. I was a tailoring apprentice after my hubby left us,” she said. “My mum was thrown out of the house we were living because we could not afford to pay the rent. Feeding became serious problems.”
Speaking further she said, “My siblings could not continue schooling, they dropped out of school. No one was there for us. I had no alternative to seeking more opportunities outside when I was told that I could secure good jobs.
“But it was unfortunate that the so-called good job was meant to destroy our future. Most of our ladies are located in Connection job while handful in Arabu works.”
She claimed “Arab work is like housemaid who goes with unpleasant experience from torture to overworking into very late hours and waking up very early. Connection job is something that ladies exposed to that will not like to talk about.
“The worst of it all is that all efforts to raise money become fruitless as militants or police can bust into our houses, rob us of our belongings and go away with everything we had worked for over there.”
Furthermore, she lamented that “Trying to send something back through a Nigeria, you have to pay the amount you wish to send, a Nigerian will collect cash and ask his relative in Nigeria to send half of the amount to the person that the money is meant for.
“I will never encourage anyone to embark on this type of perilous journey as it is just a waste of one’s life for the periods spent on this type of journey though it is an experience a very bad one.
“I need assistance to start off my life, my mum is better off health-wise and she is hawking pure water now.
“I learn IOM and other organizations are helping people like us, I want to complete my fashion designing by apprenticeship but need to source for means of feeding while I am under apprenticeship.”
Below are more photos from the airport where the returnees were received by NEMA officials.
A series of documents dated December 31, 2019 indicate an increase that ranges from 59.7 per cent to 77.6 per cent.
The increase affects all categories of electricity consumers, except those classified as residential (R1) whose N4 per kWh charge was left unchanged.
According to the documents jointly signed by Professor Momoh and the Commissioner for Legal, License, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, the NERC said the reviewed tariffs were effective January 1, 2020.
The development affects the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in the country such as Abuja DISCO, Benin DISCO, Enugu DISCO, and Eko DISCO.
Others are Ibadan DISCO, Ikeja DISCO, Jos DISCO, Kaduna DISCO, Kano DISCO, Port Harcourt DISCO, and Yola DISCO.
This sparked widespread criticism of the government, apparently forcing the NERC to make further clarification on the controversy.
At Monday’s press conference, Professor Momoh explained that the review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) does not mean an immediate increase in tariff for electricity consumers.
He added that the commission would engage the public on the planned review in the next three months, before deciding on any implementation.
The NERC boss also said the electricity body would begin the regulation of estimated billing by electricity distribution companies who fail to provide meters for their customers.
In a bid to further explain the rationale behind its decision, the regulatory body issued a statement.
Read the statement below:
TARIFF REVIEW CLARIFICATION.
We make this statement to inform all our esteemed customers that we are not unmindful of news making the rounds that Electricity tariffs have been increased effective January 1 2020 as reported in some print and electronic media.
For clarity and improved understanding, we state the following points:
The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) is primarily regulated by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
NERC is empowered by the EPSR Act (EPSRA) to make Orders and Declarations in a manner promoting efficiency and sustainability within the NESI.
NERC is empowered by EPSRA to carry out minor reviews of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015 (the Electricity Tariff), twice a year.
An accurate electricity tariff assists greatly in ensuring efficient power supply delivery from the different stages of the electricity process, from Generation through Transmission to Distribution, as it assures stakeholders and participants of their costs recovery and return on investment. This makes the business viable.
NERC has just reviewed the MYTO 2015 and has published an Order on Tariffs and Minimum Remittance for Jan-June 2020.
The tariffs anticipate changes in the currency exchange rates between the United States and Nigeria, changes in the rate of inflation and Gas prices.
The Tariffs shall remain the same as they presently are (i.e. 2015 levels) until April 01 2020 when there will be a slight increment to cater to tariff shortfalls which shall be gradually passed on to the consumer until this is fully completed by the end of 2021.
In view of the foregoing, we state emphatically that there shall be no change or increase in the existing Electricity tariff until April 01 2020 when the new adjusted tariffs shall begin to gradually reflect the dynamism of our macro-economy.
We sincerely hope that this statement substantially clarifies the accurate position and allays any fears and concerns, our esteemed customers may have.
Nigerians have joined the rest of the world to usher in the new year 2020.
In most parts of the country, many Christians visited various churches where services were held since Tuesday night to herald the New Year.
While the religious citizens were engaged in prayers and thanksgiving services, some Nigerians visited centres and parks where official countdown concerts took place.
The year 2020 first berthed in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and some other countries before Nigeria.
In Nigeria, just as the clock struck 12 am on Wednesday, signaling the beginning of a new year, citizens took to the streets in jubilation across the country.
At some of the centres of attraction in Lagos, fireworks lit up the skies, displaying bright and colourful sceneries.
Although President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to address the nation today, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and some state governors among other leaders wished the people a Happy New Year.
In his message, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the year 2020 would usher in robust peace and economic growth for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Lawan congratulated Nigerians on witnessing the end of 2019 and the beginning of the year 2020 and hailed the resilience of the citizens in their commitment to the unity and prosperity of the country, as well as for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I have no doubt in my mind that with the timely passage of the budget, restoration of the January to December financial year and other amendments recently made to our laws by the ninth National Assembly, the economy will enjoy significant growth in the new year,” Lawan said.
Mr Gbajabiamila, on his part, felicitated with Nigerians for witnessing the end of the year 2019 and marking the beginning of the New Year, 2020.
The Speaker, who noted that 2019 was remarkable in Nigeria’s history, said he believes 2020 would be better for the citizens.
He added that God has been faithful to Nigerians in the outgoing year and called for more unity of purpose among the citizens.
The lawmaker said, “It’s just like yesterday that we ushered in the year 2019, and in a matter of hours, we will usher another year, 2020. In all, we should thank our Creator for seeing us through the outgoing year and allowing us to see the New Year.
“This New Year, let’s unite more against our challenges. Let’s be our brother’s keepers as always. Our resolve to remain together as a people should be unshakeable.
“We cannot relent in our prayers for continuous peaceful coexistence among us. Let this 2020 be a year of more prospects for the citizens.”
“As an optimist, I have a strong belief that the year 2020 will be better for the country in all ramifications. Let’s not despair. Let’s keep hope alive, and God Almighty will see us through.
“At this moment of celebrations, I join millions of Nigerians to wish my compatriots a prosperous New Year,” Gbajabiamila added.
Similarly, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, said the coming of the New Year 2020 is symbolic in many ways.
He said, “First, it heralds a brand new decade. Secondly, and probably more important, is that this New Year will require us all to stay together more than ever before to take on, head front, the common enemy of insecurity that challenge our everyday lives as Nigerians.
“I do not share the sentiment when some people claim that the outgone 2019 was a successful year for Nigerians. Such sentiments is reductionist and does the harm of making us have a false sense of victory.
“The bitter truth is that Nigeria is still in the throes of economic instability, with more people losing jobs and the attendant outcome of more children being out of school and more families having hard time in accessing basic needs of life.”
“In this New Year, however, I will rather ask that Nigerians stand together with renewed vigour and determination to battle the hydra-headed demon of insecurity that has plagued us in the past decade.
“We must challenge the inadequacies that made us become the global headquarters of extreme poverty; much as we must work hard and fast enough to eliminate the scourge of out-of-school children in the country. These are the challenges that this new decade has thrown at us and we cannot afford to slumber and submit to defeat,” Atiku added.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has given the assurance that the Muhammadu Buhari would not disappoint Nigerians.
In its New Year message on Tuesday, the party promised to protect the trust and faith Nigerians have placed in the APC-led government.
“We will not let Nigerians down. We urge Nigerians to also play their part by cooperating with the government to achieve its development plans for our shared progress,” it said in a statement by its spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu.
The APC noted the President’s assent to the 2020 budget and described it as a landmark return to the January-December budget cycle.
According to it, Nigerians are assured that the ongoing infrastructural development covering the rail, road, agriculture, aviation, port, education, and health sectors would be given a further fillip.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari government is vigorously tackling and solving the social, economic and security challenges our country faces one after the other.
“Government’s successes in plugging revenue leakages, checking violent extremism, oil sector reforms, anti-corruption, economic diversification, curbing waste, infrastructure development among other achievements are profound testament,” it added.
The party also promised Nigerians that the government would further intensify and faithfully execute its policies and programmes in the new year.
It called on its supporters to cooperate with the recently-constituted National Reconciliation Committee empowered to address the grievances of members and resolve existing conflicts.
The APC explained that this was important to foster unity and oneness within the party across the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the rate of unemployment in the country, saying the All Progressives Congress (APC) has overstretched the limits of Nigerians.
It also accused the ruling party of trivialising and politicising the frightening level under it and warned the APC to get ready to face the consequences.
The main opposition party made the claims in a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
“The PDP holds that for attempting to distort and muffle facts on unemployment, which are already in the public domain, the APC has confirmed that it remains an automated lying machine, which has never been interested in the welfare of Nigerians,” the PDP alleged in the statement.
It added, “It is imperative to also state that with its latest deportment, the APC has completed the trappings of a dying party and leaves no one in doubt that it has always been a power-grabbing special purpose vehicle, which has now come to the end of its journey.”
A Serious National Problem
The opposition party quoted the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, as saying in a publication that unemployment rate was at a frightening 23.1 per cent while raising alarm that the rate would likely hit 33.5 per cent in the new year.
It insisted that the number of unemployed persons and job losses across the formal and informal sectors had surge under the present administration.
The PDP added that Ngige, while declaring open a two-day workshop on unemployment, reportedly described the situation as scary.
“The APC also chose not to remember that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in an earlier report, stated that 16 million Nigerians (which has now risen to 18 million) were unemployed, 18 million more were underemployed while another 27.44 million, reportedly refused to work in 2016 for various reasons not unrelated to frustration in the polity under the APC administration.
“It is completely unpardonable that rather than accepting the truth and seeking for a solution to the looming unemployment Armageddon, the APC seeks to trivialise and politicise a serious national problem,” the PDP claimed.
It also accused the ruling party of justifying its wrongdoings and engaging in “under-the-table system of selective employment of a few”.
Among other allegations, the PDP asked the APC to “take responsibility for the mortgaging of our nation with the $83 billion debt accumulated by its administration”.