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Is the Presidency seriously contesting the unemployment report?

President Muhammadu Buhari disputed the recently released unemployment data by the NBS, and claimed that his administration is making progress.

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On Wednesday, the NBS reported that Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 23.1% in Q3 2018 compared to 18.8% in Q3 2017. And then later that day, President Muhammadu Buhari claimed the data shows his administration is making economic progress.

The President made this claim in Abuja during a special dinner that was put together by beneficiaries of his Government’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme.

As if confusing scientific data wasn’t enough, President Buhari also took a slight jab at his predecessor Mr Goodluck Jonathan; as always talking about how he inherited an under-performing agriculture sector back in 2015. But even though this may be true, the fact remains that overall unemployment rate in 2015 was far lower compared to what currently obtains.

Disputing the data

The President Buhari-led Government have been trying hard to discredit the unemployment report which, in all honesty, is unimpressive. Just yesterday, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, said that the report was false; a claim that was reiterated by President Buhari’s media aid, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Mallam Shehu even claimed that Nigeria’s Statistician General and CEO of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, Mr Yemi Kale, had admitted that his agency’s latest report focused on white collar jobs and did not cover the agriculture sector.

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But according to the Punch Newspaper, Mr Kale said he never made such an admission.

So much talk about rice production and little result 

The Government has made so much claim in the past about the supposed success of its agricultural policies, particularly the Anchor Borrowers Scheme which it says “had created 12 million new jobs” and helped to increase rice production in the country and consequently led to a decline in rice importation.

But while this has always been a nice political statement, available information shows that it is, indeed, false. According to the United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade, Nigeria has imported a total of three million metric tonnes of rice this year. The US report even showed that Nigeria’s rice production declined in 2018 compared to what obtained in 2015.

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As expected, the Presidency refuted this as well. But that doesn’t even matter because the truth remains that the level of unemployment, poverty/suffering in Nigeria can easily be seen in the streets of Lagos and elsewhere.

Therefore, instead of disputing what really is a serious crisis, President Buhari and his team should use the remaining months of his first term in office to come up with viable policies that can ameliorate the suffering in the land.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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#EndSARS: Governor Uzodimma approves N2bn for youth empowerment after talks with protesters 

Governor Uzodinma has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment.

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Ogun, Imo States give free hand sanitizers

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment, following a fruitful meeting with a group of youths associated with the #EndSARS movement in the State. 

This disclosure was made by Governor Hope Uzodinma in his statement today, during his third state Broadcast to the people of Imo State, this week. 

The Governor in his statement said that his heart is gladdened that a vast majority of the youth heeded the clarion calls to call off the #EndSARS protests, having laid down their points unmistakably. 

However, he revealed that in line with his determination to address the needs of the youth and empower them, he has approved an immediate release of a take-off fund of N2 billion for the empowerment of youth in the state. 

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He reiterated that the task is not complete until every single youth is pulled off our streets and kept a safe distance away from the reach of some unscrupulous elements whose demonic desire is to unleash endless carnage in some parts of the state. 

What you should know 

Recall that the governor on the met with a group of youths embedded in the EndSARS protests. The group was made up of youth leaders from all parts of the country comprising leaders from the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Areewa, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Hausa, Fulani, Middle belt and Niger Delta Youths 

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However, during his interface with the youth, he assured them of a dedicated empowerment package, as part of his administration’s determination to address the needs of the youths and quell their dissatisfaction. 

  • The N2 billion take-off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries, which will commence next week. The N2billion take-off fund is to be taken from the N6 billion earmarked for the accelerated youth empowerment programme. 
  • The empowerment programme is under the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP). The State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship is directly charged with its immediate implementation. 
  • The programme is to begin training of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Batches of an estimated number of 500, 000 Imo youths in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, and provide them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises. 
  •  The training time table will be rolled out on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020. 
  • The 5000 Imo Youths who have already been trained in different skills under the IMYEIP platform, are to be given their start-up capital very soon. 

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ENDSARS

Tinubu visits Sanwo-Olu, speaks on recent violence in the state, travelling out of the country

Tinubu has spoken up about some of the happenings that have led to the recent unrest in Lagos State.

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Tinubu denies advising Buhari to print new naira notes

The former Lagos State Governor and the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reacted to the outbreak of violence during the #EndSARS protest which has led to the destruction and looting of public and private infrastructure in the state.

He lamented the invasion and wanton looting and burning of public and private assets in the state of late, including police stations.

This was made known by Tinubu during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State House Marina, to commiserate with him on the recent violence in the state, sympathize with the victims through him and seek his permission to visit some of the victims.

While addressing journalists after the meeting with the governor, Tinubu said he asked him if he had ordered the attack on #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.

He also said that he did not travel out of the country as reported by some sections of the media, who claimed that he had travelled to France and the UK.

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Tinubu said, “I didn’t go nowhere; I’m a Lagosian and I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos and I am still a Jagaban. Fake news is all over the place. They say Seyi my son was kidnapped and was chased but look at him. I didn’t pay a penny to bring him here.

On the investigation and compensation for victims of violence, Tinubu said, “First, we have to segregate the calendar, those who suffered casualty before the protests from the hands of SARS. You have to separate that from those who suffered casualty due to what happened at the toll gate.

“For those who suffered casualty from SARS, the Commission of Inquiry that is already set up will unearth that and will make their recommendations. I trust the calibre and the character of the people there, they are independent. That is one.

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“Those who suffered casualty during the gunshots need to answer some questions too, how are they there? How long were they there? What kind of characters are they? Even though we want to help, we still must extract information that will help the government to prepare in future and understand how and when to react because the governor, in particular, is a youth.’’

Going further, he said, “As a youth himself, he (Sanwo-Olu) quickly went to Abuja with the 5/5. The government immediately put into action, dissolved the SARS and had to work through other recommended actions, the needs they demanded. Within a few days, he reported back to the public. That is responsive enough.

“But where are we getting the looting, the carnage, the burning, the invasion of police stations, stealing of arms, maiming of the innocent? It is a handshake beyond the elbow.

Tinubu has been under intense media attack over the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday. He was accused of being the mastermind of the incident because of his alleged interest in the tollgate which has been blocked for about 2 weeks, an allegation he has denied.

The hoodlums had burnt down some businesses allegedly linked to him in the course of the violence that erupted in Lagos. They include Oriental Hotel, Television Continental (TVC) and Nations newspaper.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: IGP orders immediate mobilisation of officers to restore normalcy

The IGP has directed officers to take control of the current unrest and breakdown of law and order in some parts of the country.

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IGP orders immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to VIPs

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the unrest.

This was made known via the official Twitter handle of the Nigerian Police Force, @PoliceNG, in a statement titled, “RECLAIM THE PUBLIC SPACE AND RESTORE NORMALCY – IGP ORDERS AIGs, CPs, PMF, CTU & SPU COMMANDERS”.

According to the statement, the IGP has directed the officers to reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.

The IGP gave the order to all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit.

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The statement read in part, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property, and reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.

“In addition, CPs/Heads of Police Formations in the various states have also been charged to mobilize their men and work in sync with the Command CPs in the areas where they are domiciled, to dominate the public space and ensure peace and safety in the affected areas.

“The IGP, while noting that enough is enough to all acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence which have resulted to indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and warehouses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country.”

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The IGP further enjoined law-abiding citizens not to panic but rather join forces with the police and other members of the law enforcement community to protect their communities from the criminal elements. He also called for “the understanding and cooperation of the citizens, assuring that the action is geared towards ensuring public order and safety and public security in our communities.”

What you should know

In the last few days, several parts of the country, especially Lagos, Cross River and Delta have witnessed a rise in civil unrest as hoodlums torched down Police stations, government properties and have also looted and destroyed several private businesses.

The recent unrests could be traced to the hijacking of peaceful protests organised by #EndSARS agitators who took to the streets of many Nigerian cities in the last two weeks to demand the dissolution of a notorious police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, better known as SARS, who has been alleged to be involved in a countless number of harassment, extortion, abduction, armed robbery and murder of innocent citizens.

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