Oil theft fueling unemployment – FG

The federal government has blamed the menace of crude oil theft on worsening unemployment situation in the country. 

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige said this Monday while making opening remarks at the 8th Meeting of the National Employment Council in Abuja.

Ngige, who is the chairman of the council, lamented that oil theft had made Nigeria to become a mendicant nation, resorting to begging for survival.

According to him, this menace has hampered the federal government’s efforts towards creating jobs for the country’s teeming youthful population.

He said: “I am aware that you people know that we are at a very critical stage in our nation’s life. 

“But, in the oil sector, two things are happening. One, Nigeria is not meeting her production quota. Our OPEC production quota used to be 2.2 million barrels per day. It slipped down to 1.8 million barrels. 

“This is a very serious matter because it has made us become very mendicant. We cannot continue that way because it has hampered our efforts to create jobs for our teeming youthful population.”

Speaking further, Ngige said: “Some people were analysing the situation and said that when we started the country, the white men came here and took all the jobs. 

“Our colonial masters left and bequeathed to us another group of colonial masters, which comprised the indigenous people. Those who took over from the colonial masters did not plan for tomorrow. Number one is that our population is growing uncontrollably.” 

Continuing, Ngige said only few blue-collar jobs were created in the transport sector, especially in rail and maritime, without producing indirect jobs to complement them, while the situation was made worse by foreigners, especially Chinese and other West African people who have taken over most of the blue collar jobs. 

He blamed the overflowing joblessness for the youth restiveness all over the country.

“Unemployment is not confined to Nigeria, but our own is worse because in other climes, people are earning money from blue collar jobs. Here, we have no blue collar jobs for our workforce,” it said.