Nigerian Youth: Everywhere but Nowhere

by Joe Onwukeme

Any nation that doesn’t give its young population the necessary support and an enabling environment to contribute their quota in this digital era may continue to have its youth dominate everywhere but nowhere.

Outside the shores of Nigeria, Nigerian youths are everywhere and belong to everybody and have proven themselves in their chosen careers with some winning elective posts in their host nations. This also explains why most Nigerian youth would do the unimaginable to find their way to such climes.

Image (c) Pixabay

Image (c) Pixabay

But here at home, Nigerian youth are nowhere and the story is glaringly obvious to be ignored. Even in this “era of change”, the kind of birds that have been flying and perching on the trees of the presidency and the president’s body language so far leaves a lot to the imagination.

That explains why there may be no end in sight to the inexorable rise in crime in our polity today. Crime has become so lucrative a venture that some fainthearted youth now see as the last alternative.

Though I condemn in it’s entirety the inexcusable act of taking to crime as a means to an end, it is a comeuppance that befalls a nation that relegates it’s workforce to the threshold of servility, they have become vulnerable and a threat to the largest growing economy in Africa where oil wealth has enriched the elite who has failed to create jobs for the unemployed youths.

Is it not an irreversible irony that the same people that graduated and had government and private jobs waiting for them are the ones that would encourage the younger generation to embrace jaded skills acquisition and also dictate the kind of skills acquisition one will acquire?

This has shown a failure at all levels in previous permissive governments to sincerely stimulate growth and development and inculcate the spirit of self-reliance in Nigerian youth that will encourage and empower youths to get self-employed.

In as much as am enthusiastic with strong hope that things may get better in this era of change, if adequate measures are not taken to address the challenges that has befallen Nigerian youth and tackled head on, a time will come when no matter the kind of arms and ammunitions the government invests on our nation’s security, the twin-monsters of terrorism and kidnapping would continue unabated. Soon the government may also have no choice but to begin to build and rent houses where these youths would be sent to because there will be no more space in the already congested prisons we have across the federation.

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