The General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Dr Peter Eson-Ozo, has said that the current situation in the country meant that the unemployment rate will continue to rise.
Eson-Ozo said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.
“This is because the way things are now, given all the economic parameters, we are actually faced with a situation in which the unemployment rate in Nigeria will continue to rise,” he said.
Statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed that the unemployment and underemployment rate in the country had risen to 13.3 per cent with 26 million Nigerians either unemployed or underemployed.
At the global level, the International Labour Organisation had predicted that unemployment rate will rise to 13.1 per cent at the end of 2016 and 2017 from 12.9 per cent at the end of 2015.
Eson-Ozo said that the global unemployment projections were gloomy, adding that the situation in Nigeria might even be gloomier.
He said, “If we take that (unemployment) along with the underemployment and disguised employment, we find that really, it is a very high rate, much higher than the global average.
“The world economy itself, the dynamics of the world economy into the next two years, will not create or turn the job market around.
“It is also frightening because apart from our local economic issues, the global economic environment will not even be supportive of our getting out quickly from the present situation.”
He urged the Federal Government to develop a policy that will address the increasing rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria.
He said, “As of now, we do not seem to have a policy response that shows where we are in the economy.
“Today you talk of foreign exchange management policy response, tomorrow you talk of interest rate, and you know economic isolation will not address this problem.
“We need to put together a comprehensive plan to address the situation in the economy and I believe that it is only then that we can start to turn around the economy.”
The NLC general secretary, who warned that employment could not be created if the economy was not revived, said, “We need to do something urgently in order to start tackling the unemployment problem in the country.”