National leader of the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has said more than the issue of security, the most important issue affecting Nigeria today is youth unemployment.
â€œNigeria sits on many time-bombs, but perhaps the deadliest time bomb of all is that of youth unemploymentâ€¦ There can be no talk of good governance where millions go unemployed and many are under the crushing weight of poverty,â€ he said.
Tinubu, who was making his chairmanâ€™s opening remarks at the first Progressive Governance Lecture in Ibadan Oyo State, recently, said: â€œIn Nigeria today, unemployment is not the disease but the symptom of a greater disease â€“ that the architects of our economy have not cared enough to develop an economy where the labour of the average person is valued and prized and that labour then becomes the primary cog of the economy.â€
According to him, â€œWhen considered against its gross earnings, the petro dollars that keeps rolling in, the Foreign Direct Investments, (FDI) and other potentials, the unemployment figure in Nigeria particularly among the youth, is totally unacceptable and unjustifiable.â€
According to Tinubu, the self-appraised glowing performance report of the ruling government of President Goodluck Jonathan is one of the most remarkable, creative works of fiction ever written in Nigeria, whose mathematics about Grass Domestic Product (GDP) growth, economic empowerment, energy provision, and employment do not add up.
The former governor of Lagos State said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governmentâ€™s claim that Nigeria has one of the worldâ€™s fastest growing economies and that the countryâ€™s GDP expands by nearly seven per cent per year was not being felt by the people, â€œinstead we have a rentier economy, fuelled by prebendal politics,â€ that â€œisolates and oppresses millions of Nigerians, leaving a few to enjoy the resources of the state.â€
According to Tinubu, one way out of this is that, â€œNigeria needs some fundamental restructuring both politically and economically. Not the constant tinkering and â€˜patch-patchâ€™ we often resort to.â€
Also, he said the situation is bound to worsen unless Nigerians demand answers to some of the mind boggling and unprecedented official corruption in the countryâ€™s oil sector in particular.
â€œCan this government tell Nigerians why there is a conflict between its revenue figures and that of the Nigeria Customs Service authority which revealed that Nigeria lost over N1.7 trillion ($10.3 billion) to the retrogressive waivers granted by the Finance Ministry?
â€œCan this government step forward and tell Nigerians why $20 billion oil revenues from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remain unaccounted for? What about the Kerosene Subsidy scandal and the almost N1 trillion that has disappeared? Where is the impact of the billions buried in Sure-P?â€
Describing the present government of President Jonathan as steeped in corruption and official sleaze, Tinubu said: â€œThe country is in free fall despite shrill explanations to the contrary.â€
He said under an APC government, â€œwe would seek the restructuring of our educational system to prepare our youths for the present challenges of this economy and not educate them in a manner more appropriate for another land.â€