By Ese Ekema
The Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi has urged the Federal Government to take drastic measures to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.
Obi, who said this while speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, noted that the rate of unemployment in the country would reduce if certain areas were given adequate support.
According to him, if the right approach is not taken, we can have 15 million rice farmers and rice will still be expensive in the country.
“The more people that get into rice production, the more rice we produce and the more the price of rice goes up.
“It shows that there is disconnect. If we have 10 million rice farmers, the price of rice should have been coming down.
“If they are getting it right, the number would have been reducing, the whole approach or economic architecture is wrong.
“There should be areas of concentration that needs to be focused on. There are areas that you need to sincerely support which is not happening.’’
According to him, the overall unemployment and underemployment rate in 2014 was 24 per cent but now it is 40 per cent.
He said the rate of unemployment was initially 12 per cent after which it moved to 18.8 per cent.
Obi urged that an aggressive approach should be taken to turn things around for the better.
Speaking on the 2019 elections, Obi said it would strictly focus on issues that concerns the ordinary Nigerian.
“It would be focused on issues about the voiceless 87 million poor people that are living in Nigeria, issues about millions of unemployed Nigerians.
“How do we start pulling those 87 million people out of poverty and how do we start ensuring that millions of unemployed Nigerians get jobs.
“So, when you see that the situation is worsening, you get sad. And for me, my first expression is sadness. (NAN)