The Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion for the payment of N5, 000 monthly allowance to unemployed youths in the country.
The motion was sponsored by Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) but was greeted with shouts of “no, no” when he tried to explain it. Attempts by the Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, to second the motion were disrupted by the rowdiness. Intervening, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, posed the question but the senators responded along party lines.
While Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members yelled ‘’aye’’ in favour of the motion, All Progressives Congress (APC) senators, who were in majority, rejected it.
However, a motion calling for the probe of the utilisation of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds by the immediate past administration was adopted by the senators.
The sponsor of the motion, Babajide Omoworare, prayed that every Naira spent by the past government on SURE-P and other poverty alleviation programmes should be accounted for.
When the president of the Senate put the question, it was supported with a loud “aye” from the APC wing of the chamber, with no dissenting voice from the PDP side.
In his remarks, Saraki urged the senators to take the issue of unemployment very seriously and not play politics with it.
“We should stay above party line on this issue that is so important. We have seen growth in the last years but this has not translated to employment. Government alone cannot do it; the private sector has a role to play and the enabling environment must be created,” he said.
PDP leaders have lately called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling APC to fulfill their campaign promise of paying N5, 000 to unemployed Nigerian youth.
The motion on Wednesday is believed to have been part of that call.