A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, has described as shocking and unjustifiable the current unemployment rating of the state.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently classified Rivers as one of the states with highest unemployment rate of 43.7 per cent after Imo State with 48 per cent and Akwa Ibom with 45.2 per cent.
But Eze, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Tuesday, said Rivers had no business with such rating considering the wealth of the state especially its monthly allocations from the Federal Government and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He blamed the development on the approach adopted by the state government and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in addressing issues of common concern.
Eze observed that the current administration was not making enough investments to cater for the welfare of the poor and the deprived, who he said accounted for 70 per cent of the population.
He said the current situation if not urgently addressed could rob the economy of useful talents and force young people into a level of crime, suicide and criminality that could further aggravate the already disturbing security situation in the state.
He warned that the society also stood the risk of increased public skepticism and pessimism about the value of education and training, given the fact that a greater chunk of graduates in the state had remained jobless after many years of roaming the labour market.
The APC chieftain called on Wike to adopt practical solutions by developing an effective and people-oriented economic blueprint to guide the government in its plans and programmes
He further asked the governor to create the enabling environment to attract local and foreign investors to tap the highly skilled and enterprising employable population of the state.
Eze said adopting an improved and more pragmatic approach to governance would help create opportunities for young people and prepare them to take up leadership positions.
Eze commended former Rivers Governor and Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, for his efforts in developing the economies of states in the Niger Delta region especially, the successful berthing, at Onne Port, of the biggest Container Vessel to ever call at any Nigerian port.
He said the APC-led federal government had continued to make progress in fixing the common challenges hampering the collective growth and development of the nation.