The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it was not responsible for the job losses in the economy in the last three years.
National publicity secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Isa Onilu, made the declaration on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.
According to statistics made available by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released by its Labour Force Statistics on December 19, 2018, about 3.3 million Nigerians became unemployed between December 2017 and September 2018. It has since deteriorated to 20.9 million according to data from the same source.
But addressing newsmen, the APC spokesman said: Nigerians should draw a line between job losses and unemployment rate. Mallam Onilu said the blame for the latter should be put at the doorstep of the erstwhile ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Onilu further submitted that there have been no job losses in the federal institutions in the last three years and further noted that whatever job losses in the economy could be attributed to the organised private sector and what he called the locust years that was 16 years of PDP misrule
He said: “The statistics you refer to, I don’t know what specific statistics you are talking about, if it’s about unemployment, you need to go and check the statistics again, and you need to compare the difference between unemployment and job loss. If it’s about job loss then you will commend this government, that since this government came, all those factors that will lead to job loss are not there. The private sector is being encouraged.
“The issue of agriculture, we all know what agriculture has done to this country, nobody can deny that anymore, it is very obvious. And the biggest employer of labour is that sector, and that is the sector where Nigeria has recorded the biggest growth in the last three years.
So, what about job gains from such sector? From government institutions, is there any government institutions you would say has laid off any worker in the last three years? Rather, what we have is a situation where salaries are paid regularly, allowances are paid regularly. Pensions are paid to those who have left the service and have not been paid for donkey years. So, what factors will lead to that job loss that we are talking about?
Unemployment is a different issue, it is not the same as job loss. What account for unemployment is a progressive degeneration that happened to this country over the cause of the period that PDP was in power, and what this government has done is to continue to create the environment, where we are moving gradually from that mono-economy, complete dependent on oil to an economy where people have choices, and that is the environment that encourages individual to be creative, to be able to apply himself to all the opportunities that are available. So, today any able Nigerian who wishes to employ himself can do so, because the support system is in place and it is working.
He equally dismissed insinuations that the federal government has been selective in its anti-corruption crusade as he vowed that any erstwhile member of the PDP who has joined the ruling party would not be spared, if a case of corruption was established against such individual in a court of law.
“If it is about people who were hitherto members of PDP who came into APC who are now occupying strategic positions. The idea was never to import people from the mass. The idea was to create a new environment where Nigerians that we all know, including ourselves will turn a new leaf and do things according to rule of law, ensure that we apply decency into our actions and patriotism is defined by our quest to promote the interest of this country ahead of our personal interest.
That was what all these is all about. And without prejudice to whatever actions that may have been taken by anyone in the past, the fact that you are in APC has proven by several cases in courts regarding corruption that is not an excuse for you to escape justice.
So, even those who came along during merger were accepted with the impression that they have turn a new leaf but has events shown later they turn out that they only came that is going to be business as usual. And when they found out thinking it was going to be business as usual. When they found out that it wasn’t going to be, they went back to their evilness called the PDP.
And those who are still in APC membership of the party wouldn’t assail for you if you had taken any step that makes you to deserve justice. Justice is being applied to everyone irrespective of what party you belong.
We have seen examples. We have two governors who are presently in jail who were members of APC, they were jailed under this government. We know several cases that are still in court, and are being pursued vigorously. All these government need to do is to file the case; it’s not within the jurisdiction of this government to pass a judgment.