Available statistics in Nigeria have shown that the youth constitute up to 70% of the country’s population.
Our youth remain the all-important resources that we could deploy in transforming Nigeria, if they are properly harnessed.
The bastardization of our value system right from the family as a first place of contact, to the school and society at large have turned our youth to become a tool of violence rather than a veritable vehicle for national integration, progress and development.
Today, Nigeria is beset with a lot of challenges bordering on youth restiveness. From the Niger Delta Avengers, Boko Haram insurgency, Yan Kalare in Gombe, Yan Sara Suka in Bauchi to Yan Shara(or Sweepers) in Kaduna, it is certain that a nation that decides to neglect its youth would not have peace.
The only thing we can get from many of our youth today is arson and violence, simply because there are no deliberate government policies to meaningfully engage the youth. And if we do not invest in the youth, we are destroying our future.
By comparison, it is on record that, developed countries are now more involved in the development of their youth from cradle but unfortunately, we in Nigeria do not have the actual record of youth enrolled or leaving primary, secondary or tertiary institutions, let alone having any blue print or plan for them.
As such, in any society where the youth have no sense of belonging, it becomes more difficult to make them loyal or dedicated to any national cause. Perhaps, this is partly why we have the Niger Delta Avengers and the Boko Harams of this world.
It is on this note, that I call on the government to scale up its effort at training, educating and reorienting the youth to become useful to the nation.
However, this enlightenment should start right from the home, then to the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. The youth should also be considered for key offices as part of the need to engage them meaningfully. This would go a long way to expanding their horizon and tapping from their vast energy and talent for nation-building.