Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on the Federal Government to invest massively in job creation to tackle insecurity and unemployment in the country.
Tinubu made the appeal in a remark at the opening of the 2021 annual Arewa House Lectures, which he chaired on Saturday in Kaduna.
The lecture was on “Reduction of the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Northern Nigeria in a Post- COVID-19 era”.
He said that the government must urgently think outside of the box in finding solutions to the challenges posed by unemployment.
According to him, the frustration and despair among the youth was largely caused by chronic poverty and breakdown in social institutions.
“Building vital infrastructures such as irrigation and water catchment systems will help agriculture, arrest desertification and provide jobs.
“Another readily available area primed for investment is the agro allied industry which, for the northern region is particularly advantageous,” he said.
Tinubu added that the government must implement a national industrial policy to encourage key industries to begin to employ the country’s growing population.
On the herder and farmer dispute, the former Lagos State Governor said the government “must appreciate that martial security measures alone will not suffice”.
“Problems that are essentially of an economic origin must also have an economical solution.
“Enhanced security may be the necessary first step, but it cannot be the only step.
“We cannot resolve this problem by holding on to one-dimensional answers. We must all be dispassionate in our search for solutions.
“These challenges are multi-faceted and so the solutions must be.
“The issue of insecurity, unemployment and extremism has many things to do with governance, over time. We must tackle our deep and widespread poverty.
“If we limit government’s role under the erroneous assumption that government spending is intrinsically unproductive, then we tether ourselves to failure,” he said.
He also cautioned those advocating for “small government”, advising them to learn from history.
“We would do well to more critically study how other populous nations such as the UK, US, Germany and China charted their course during their formative years.
“You will see that they did not adhere to small government or the purportedly free market.
“Government engaged in massive spending on infrastructure and education while also engaging in policies that protected industrial development and key aspects of the agricultural sector.
“Only when they matured and held advantages over other nations, did the UK and US begin to champion free markets and small government.
“We would do well to understand this history and learn what it means for our own pursuit of development,” Tinubu added.