Creating enabling environment key to curbing youth unemployment – Saraki

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The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that youth unemployment in Nigeria could be curtailed by creating the enabling environment for entrepreneurship.

Saraki stated this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja on Monday.

He said that the inability to access finance, inadequate power supply and the nation’s current under-developed transport systems had hindered millions of productive youth from starting small-scale businesses.

”Nigeria currently has a working age population of just over 108 million people. Out of this number, people under 35 years are the worst affected by the high rate of unemployment and under-employment in our nation.

”We need to combine our strategies at the legislative and executive level to create greater access to finance for young people.

”Right now, it is clear that no arm of government can go at this alone. At our end in the 8th Senate, we are working to create new forms of capital through the passage of Bills like the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Bill.

”This will allow young people to use their portable assets like cars and laptops as collateral for loans to start small businesses.

”We have also passed the Warehouse Receipts Bill to create new type of transactional currency that will allow people to use their invoices from pending transactions and contracts to access loans from credit institutions,” he said.

Saraki stressed that the transport systems, for instance, would allow for easy and efficient movement of people, goods and services across the country if improved upon.

”As it stands, at the National Assembly, we are working hard to pass laws that will improve Nigeria’s infrastructure and transport systems by creating more avenues for private sector participation in the building of roads and railway systems.

”This can be seen through our amendment of the 62-year-old Railway  Act, the passage of the Federal Road Authority establishment Bill and our ongoing work on the National Transport Commission Bill.

”We are also working to reform and strengthen our ability to import and export through our ports with the passage of the National Inland Waterways Act, amendment to the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act, and the Nigerian Customs Service Act,” he said.

Saraki, therefore, called for more collaboration between the executive and the legislature to curb the rising unemployment rate in the country. (NAN)