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October 30, 2020
Column Features Gbolagade Sunday Opinions

The Prospects of Nigerian Youth; a Bright or Blur Future

Fadeyi Elizabeth & Gbolagade Sunday

The youth they often say are the leaders of tomorrow, the ones who can make the changes we need, a pointer to the future of a country, the workforce of any country, the backbone to the nation. If all this saying is right, should we then be worried about the future of Nigeria? There would be no hope for the nation if the youths did not wake up and take their future into their hands. there will be no tomorrow to lead if our leaders do not stop the incessant crisis and bad governance rocking Nigeria

Nigeria is a blessed Country with agile and laudable active citizens but the dwindling nature of basic economic, political, and sociocultural factors has maneuvered the instinct thereby hindered the success of average youths.
In the Education sector, Nigeria seems to be lacking in a lot, this system which is meant to bring and train for a better tomorrow looks opaque in that ideology anymore,  majority of the students are yet to figure out why they are in school in the first instance and so many just attend tertiary institutions for the certifications. Not to mention the fact that lecturers underpaid and therefore don’t go the extra mile to educating students as they should but would rather go on strike for months without being bothered
In a developed society, Citizens have access to free tertiary education, bursary, and those who don’t, have access to financial packages get assistance from note able personalities. Although some personified individual is trying their best to assist the helpless hence, our leaders are seen flying their children abroad to learn and later go there to celebrate their graduations while no foreigners would fly in to study major courses here because of our poor educational sector. 

However, Many youths after many attempts of gaining admission and luck shine on them with peer pressure and the bad gang, soon fall prey to cultism activities. This becomes a mar in them for the rest of their time as dealing in cultist acts equate putting your life on the line each time their activities are carried out. Youths are usually used by corrupt politicians as a thug to stir up troubles during political and electoral activities such as ballot seizure/stealing, political persuasions, and intimidation, etc. They put their dear life on the line for those corrupt leaders who would not be shaken if at all they lost their lives in the process. Why they jealousy guide their children who are mostly out of the country during those periods
Youths in Nigeria are claimed to be more than half of the 200+ million Nigeria and with reports from the National Bureau of Statistics the unemployment rate among the youth at 65%

Moreso, many struggled through their tertiary days with hopes to find a valid and sensible job which they would in turn use to fend for themselves and their family but so is not the case, as after graduating, many more are left to deal with job searches and the bribe-infested officers in charge of recruiting.
The lack of employment opportunities has led so many to involve in some degrading activities such as kidnapping, cyber thefts. Can we attribute this as one of the reasons for the rising rate of internet fraud?
The fraudulent act has become prevalent in Nigeria as youths who engage in the fraud scam become rich overnight and this is most common among graduates even which undergraduate follow trends because of the recessed economic and lack of jobs opportunities in Nigeria hence, they soon forget about any opportunities of finding a legal job.

Furthermore, after failed applications, they got infected with the quest for the easy accumulation of wealth. They want to trend, spend without any legged struggling, and jostling in the right path. Moreover, they also tagged the illicit act as HUSTLING which will hasten quick money for them to lavish.
What is the pace of the rich ones among them? A pathway already built by the guru in the cabal serves as a role model for the other youths who often fancy this lifestyle and want to be like him. All of this shows Nigeria still has a long way to go regarding employment and job creation for her ever-uprising numbers

In addition, the issue of drug and substance abuse is still a prevalent social illness among Nigerian youths. It is true that drugs are used for beneficent therapeutic purposes, effective substance for good health, but they are being abused by people especially youths. They use it illegally and unlawfully, thus it becomes harmful to the body. Findings revealed that the major cause of substance abuse among youth is peer pressure although coupled with a common effect finally death. It is therefore recommended that Parents should take good care of their children during the teenage age and the government should continue the swift control, strict punishment through respective agencies such as NAFDAC on the production, distribution, supply, and consumption of these substances. Many youths are addicted to using drugs like heroin and cocaine which are injectable. And this has been a major contributor to the spread of HIV/ AIDS due to the fact that they share syringes. Other drugs like alcohol can lead to risky sexual behavior as they affect their decision making psyche

Therefore, the invention of social media like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter is for users to connect with the world on their devices as a means of bringing people off all walks of life together. With the latest development, just more than connections, it has turned to a  product sales place, news sharing predominantly dominated by youths. In Nigerian, Social Media houses a lot of exotic cars, expensive houses, and fake livings, who would rather stay hungry but being fed with likes and reactions from social media platforms and not face the real world. They prefer to go bankrupt or go through dubious means just to show off on social media.
Most youths on social media are just looking for memes to laugh about, sex stories to read, celeb news to view, who to bruise in the comment section, and less interested in the real social, economic matters which concern them. In order for some youths to live a befitting life, Nigerian women have been initiated into the business of selling their bodies for money. While some join willingly, many other women are compelled to participate in sleeping with  Chiefs, Senators through human trafficking. Some got killed in the process, while a few others after being used for rituals are rendered helpless. With the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as every November 1st is National Youth Day. What should we expect in our prospects, restructuring of the mindset, and all spheres?

Moreover, they said Youth needs sensitization on the importance of their participating in governance but do they(govt) ever include more youths in political posts and in the decision-making sphere of the Nation? Youths who find themselves in politics today are those whose parents or guardians are already established political figures who then use their influence to elevate their children or wards. So how then can a vibrant youth who’s a son of nobody that knows nobody becomes somebody not even be the leader of tomorrow? Apathy is another cankerworm when in fact many youths soon lost interest in politics. The future is ours and we must be involved in the management of our affairs. Those ruling over the years have refused to step down they often decided who comes up, who goes down, and who stays there, all for their own personal benefits.

Today, there are many talented youths who are still striving to survive but do not have the connection to make headway. Those who are industrious enough to innovate and create wealth are having their businesses taxed to death. 
The future of Nigeria is what we make of it today, so what future do we want to see?

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