By EDDIE OSIFELO
OPPOSITION Leader Matthew Wale has urged government to address the high unemployment rate among youths in the country.
Wale raised this concern in a motion moved by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday for Parliament to beg leave to offer thanks for the Speech which was addressed by his Excellency to Parliament on Monday.
He said as mentioned earlier, the population of the country is growing, and he thinks the government is not prepared to take on the challenges that come with the anticipated population increase, especially youth?
“According to the CBSI Annual Report 2018, employment in the formal sector as reported by SINPF was 58,736, an increase of 7 percent from 55,820 in 2017.
“And I don’t think there will be any increases in formal employment if the economic base remains thin and small and unable to absorb the increase in population by creating employment opportunities and if the government continues to be hooked into self-centred polices that focus mainly on constituency development (solar, roofing iron, boat/engine, school fees, etc),” he said.
Further, Wale said absence of policies and interventions that encourage inclusive participation and contributions of their people and communities, especially investing in the productive and services would affect their intention to grow and increase our revenue base.
“The poor condition of infrastructure and the lack of it in many Provinces impeded movement of people, goods and services, increase costs of doing business and affected communications.
“With a tinny export base, mostly primary industries and commodities that are prone to disasters such as cyclones and continuous bad weather contribute to expose the economy to instability in government revenue, one that could adversely affect the nation’s prospects for economic advancement and growth in 2019/2020,” he said.
Wale said a worsened trade war between the US and China could wash down prospects for growth in the export sector and affecting the country’s economy.
He said the country also need to prepare in advance for the country’s graduation from Least Developed Country to Developing Country status in 2024, an issue that will impact on the country’s export and revenue.
Furthermore, Wale said the Government needs to strategically deal with the current China/Taiwan issue.