55m unemployed youth live in abject poverty – Senator Bassey

Available statistics indicates that no fewer than 55 million Nigerian youth are living in abject poverty, Senator representing Cross River South, Gershom Bassey, has said.

Decrying the rate of unemployment in the country in a statement in Calabar, Wednesday, Bassey said, “Nigeria’s current economic growth patterns are not providing adequate employment and quality of life, especially for young persons who may lack necessary skills and training.”

The Senator, who had earlier in the week raised a motion in the Senate on the need to prioritise sustainable youth oriented human capital development for long term socio-economic growth, said sustainable programmes for youth development and empowerment would check current slide.

He noted that, “By fourth quarter of 2020, Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to 33.3percent from 27% in second quarter and Nigeria now ranks second highest on the unemployment global list.

“One in three of Nigeria’s 69.7 million work force is unemployed, consisting of predominantly young persons aged 25-44, hence the time has come for an urgent intervention to get Nigerian youth gainfully empowered or employed.”

The Cross River National Assembly Caucus chairman, added that “food inflation has accelerated at its highest pace in 15 years, worsening the economic conditions of millions of Nigerian youth, of which more than 55 million now live in extreme poverty.”

The lawmaker who is most likely to take a shot at the Cross River state governorship seat for 2023 added that “it was sad that in the wake of the one-year anniversary of the #Endsars protests, many of our youth still feel despondent as statistics show that poverty, unemployment and insecurity are on a steady rise”.