The House of Representatives Wednesday rejected a bill, which sought to make provisions for monetary incentives for unemployed graduates in the country.
The proposed legislation, titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Act, Cap. N28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, by creating specific functions and objectives for the Directorate to specifically cater for unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions,” failed to scale second reading when it was put to vote by the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has also endorsed a bill seeking to overhaul the Consumer Protection Council.
The bill, sponsored by Daniel Reyeneiju (PDP, Delta State), seeks to amend the Consumer Protection Council Act to modify its composition; widen the scope of its functions and powers so as to provide for a broader and more effective Council.
Sponsor of the bill, Arua Arunsi, had, during his submission on the floor, said the objective of the bill was to design implementation programmes to combat mass unemployment of graduates that are between the ages of 18 to 35 years and also between third to fifth year of post-graduation experience.
According to him, the bill also seeks to pay certain amount of allowances to the unemployed graduates in Nigeria.
But opponents of the proposed legislation pointed out that the provisions of the bill failed to meet critical criteria of filling gaps inherent in the existing laws it was seeking to amend.
A member, Ibrahim El sudi, noted that the bill had nothing new as a similar programme for unemployed graduates was already in existence at the NDE. He added: “There is a graduate attachment programme that does exactly what this bill is seeking.
“Even, a similar programme exists for non-graduates on the social aspect for unemployed non-graduates at the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NISTF).
What should happen is for the authorities to strengthen these programmes”.
Also, James Faleke said providing such monetary incentives could only compound the economic challenges facing the country.
According to him, since the Nigerian economy was not production-based, industrial revival efforts would be defeated. “Rather than turn our unemployed youths into lazy ones, government should channel the monthly stipends towards the revival of our industries”, he said.
The bill equally seeks to repeal the Consumer Protection Council Act and re-enact the Consumer Protection Agency Bill to provide for the establishment of an investigation unit; ensure effective civil action for damages and other unfair or deceptive practices”.