By Bimbola Oyesola
Against the backdrop of worsening unemployment in the country, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has charged government to review its plan on security and other national policies.
The union mandated government at all levels to urgently diversify the economy, tackle insecurity and map out favourable policies that would attract local and foreign investors to create gainful employment for Nigerian youths.
This is even as it condemned the appalling state of most public libraries in Nigeria, which are in deplorable state as a result of inadequate facilities, poor funding and under-staffing of the national and state libraries.
In resolutions adopted at the second regular meeting of the Examination Bodies and Libraries Trade Group Council of NASU in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the union expressed worry over the increasing rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
The resolutions, jointly signed by the Trade Group deputy president/chairman, Sunday Obabunmi, and secretary, Amalu, noted that the youths were graduating in thousands annually from the nation’s Institutions without enabling environment and establishment of industries to accommodate them for increased productivity.
It lamented the adverse effects of these idle youths in the areas of cyber fraud and other criminal activities. It also noted that many of the youths, including trained professionals, have crossed the shores of Nigeria in search of greener pastures in other developed countries of the world.
The union expressed worry over incessant proliferation of firearms, resulting in the rising cases of insurgency, armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and the menace of killer herdsmen.
It further lamented the criminal activities in most parts of the country, which are gradually infiltrating and over-powering the security formation of the nation, and expressed dissatisfaction over government’s approach towards combating the criminal activities.
According to the union, the security of lives and properties of Nigerians is one of the primary responsibilities of the government, but government has not lived up to the expectations of the citizens who voted it into power despite the huge sums of money appropriated for security.
The council, therefore, called on the government to expedite action to overhaul the nation’s security, recruit more personnel, ensure adequate funding of security agencies and prosecute criminals.
On the nation’s economy, it stated that, “The Council-in-Session expressed worry over the high rate of inflation in the country. It noted that the exchange rate has gone above N500 to $1 and has affected the cost of living in our nation where virtually most of the goods and services are dependent on supply from other countries.
“The council lamented the pitiable state of the nation where workers’ monthly salary can no longer sustain them and their families.
“The Council-in-Session, therefore, called on the government to invest in agriculture, technology and petroleum refineries to minimize importations and increase the revenue generation of the nation.”
On the state of libraries, NASU said it considered the role of a good library in the education of the Nigerian child as a long-term investment for the nation.
It tasked government to prioritize education of the citizenry by increasing budgetary allocations to education in order to accommodate standard and adequately funded libraries to complement the nation’s educational institutions.