The National Executive Council (NEC) has set up a committee charged with addressing unemployment and national security in the country.
This was part of the council’s resolutions at its meeting Monday. The decision was taken on the backdrop of issues triggered by the weeks-long #EndSARS protests where young Nigerians sought an end to police brutality, before it was hijacked by hoodlums who have caused chaos across the country in the past week.
Headed by the vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the committee has the governors of Sokoto, Borno State, Niger, Ondo, Ebonyi, and Delta States as members.
The committee is expected to engage “relevant stakeholders” to chart a way forward on “employment, social safety net programmes, and national unity among other key issues of concern” for the country.
This will be done alongside engaging with security agencies, including at state level, “to provide compensation for those who have incurred losses in the last few weeks and a framework for social security to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.
Four in 10 Nigerians are poor and the country’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
“The council observed the low morale of security operatives during the period and members resolved to commend the Nigeria police and all the security agencies for their handling of what is clearly an unprecedented problem,” the spokesman to the nation’s Vice President, Mr Akande said in his statement.
“NEC also supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to a complete overhaul of the country’s security services by improving the capacity of security officers across the rank and file while providing them with the necessary equipment to carry out their jobs effectively,” he added.
Since the protest for police reform turned violent from last week, the has country has experienced series of destruction, large scale looting of public and private warehouses, and lost of lives, including those of security officials.
To this end, Mr Akande said NEC urged the CACOVID leadership, a private initiative committed to given palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, “to come out with an independent statement on the status of the distribution of palliatives donated to States which should clearly explain the circumstances behind the delay in the distribution of food items domiciled in warehouses across the country.”
“Council reviewed the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionist groups, stressing that these subterranean and violent tendencies must be quickly addressed given that they have continually hijacked demonstrations and caused mayhem and lawlessness across parts of the country.
“Council decried the irresponsible use of social media in fueling misinformation and increasing social tensions,” Mr Akande noted.