STRATEGIC WAYS TO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Nigeria as the largest nation in Africa is blessed with almost all the national resources on earth planet. This is a country with solid minerals, fossil fuel, good weather and conditions, and many more. In a report released by Index of Economic Freedom, Nigeria economic freedom is 55.1, indicating its economy as the 120th freest in the 2013 index. In Africa region, the 21st present record out of 46 countries is a rank below world average. People sleep without food to eat and it is an injustice to see human beings going to bed hungry in a nation.
This is not a medium of problem description but a ground for possible solutions for a new Nigeria of our time. In my dream, I believe that Nigeria will celebrate a decade of development in the world. Our political leaders need to exalt our expectations and predictions. In order to achieve a national sustainable development, youth development is a key. Youth development is a national investment. In light of my knowledge and extension, in redefining Nigerian democratic system and economic development, Nigerian youths are in a vantage position. Around the world, responsive Nigerian youths are valued because of their energy, enthusiasm, and valued ideas for shaping the world around them positively. The first issue to be dealt with here is valuing our youths in the nation as people who can make things happen. This is a responsibility for a passionate government.
Nigerian youths need settings with a hopeful quality towards a sense of belongings, strong ambitions, good opportunities, and the supportive relationship to realise their potentials. Everyone is crying of unemployment every day which is an effect of many causes. Business leaders are troubled about un-employability because of the kind of products from our higher institutions which are undistinguishable and invisible in the world ranking lists. Many problems are increasing due to the negligence of youth development as a nation. Nigerian youths have rights and responsibilities which are not recognized in societies. The upstream government power has responsibilities on the reformation of administrative resources. Nigeria government needs to describe an environment where youth involvement in decision making as a nation is put in place.
Educational maturity is an area of focus on youth development which is required because it may be difficult for many to exploit the innate multi-potentials and values waiting for expression. Youth re-orientation and entrepreneurship development have to be a peak priority of the government in the budgets and actions. Education should be for acquisition and application of knowledge. We have misplaced learning for schooling in my dear country. The unfortunate extra-ordinary thinking level of most Nigerian youths is to only cram, pass and start searching for jobs. Though, our educational culture and system has encouraged this. Tireless pursuit of selfless service is a not an urgency for many youths. This is an area of present need: positive thinking re-orientation and national philosophy for practical education.
The next way out is the development of a sustainable entrepreneurship culture and freedom to showcase innovative ideas and creative products and services. We have heard in the past that youths are the leaders of tomorrow but the word “tomorrow” has to be reversed to “today”. Google and Facebook were created by youths and today they are enhancement forces in globalization. Our political leaders and private bodies need to develop better policies with the youth involvement. When the ground for production is created, people will produce ideas. Improving talents in the nation will boost our export capacity and eventually promote the economy. The focus is to be trade-oriented and action-oriented.
Finally, national goals on youth development have to touch the physical, social, financial, educational, professional and recreational. Then, spiritual development is also important. The achievement of these goals will produce community assets with a capacity of transforming the societies. Developed communities will produce a developed nation. In this context, I would like to spell out some summarized areas where government and private bodies can show the commitment to youths:
- Youth re-orientation, empowerment strategies and policies
- Funding support for parents.
- Community empowerment
- Provision of funds to start and improve businesses
- Financial support for talents – New inventions and innovations
- Educational reform, learning and work support for participation
- Vocational education transformation
- Work experience promotion and young Adults apprenticeships targets.
All these have to be monitored because of our corruption epidemic. I am so convinced in my heart that very soon as we all perform our responsibilities; Nigeria’s great records will soon inspire the world.