Nigeria is currently in a situation where nothing functions in the country. Aside from the numerous problems that have riddled the country for decades (with nothing done in that regard), there’s a massive failure on the part of the authorities, those who should make things work.
Incompetence is currently the order of the day, widespread corruption in all systems of the government, mediocrity is now worshipped as no individual or body is ready to do the barest minimum, and the youths; who are supposedly the organ of progress and development, are being ridiculed and left to the rot by the government in charge.
The national bureau of statistics’ latest data signified that the most unemployed demographic in Nigeria is youths, with over 13.9 million currently unemployed. Furthermore, this revealed that the worst-hit group of unemployed Nigerians are the youth, who represent a whopping 63.13% of the total unemployed individuals in the country.
In the first quarter of 2022, dispatch riders and other logistics operators, where majority are youthful, had a brief protest regarding multiple taxation and extortion by state, the federal government and various agencies under their control. Car-hailing services such as Uber, Bolt, and In-driver weren’t exempted as the Lagos state government imposed an initial 20% tax on every ride, which was reduced to 10% after protests and advocacy by the users of the e-hailing platforms.
Security, an essential component under the executive arm of the government, is in shambles as there’s currently widespread violence in all parts of the country. Theft, Banditry and kidnapping are now unchecked, resulting in a successive increase in crime in all aspects of the country. In addition, Nigeria is still healing from the pain caused at the Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state, where an armed group of people launched an attack after the church service. Up to forty members of the congregation paid with their lives while 80 worshippers are still at the hospital receiving treatment.
Nigerian students are on a 16-week strike as the Association of Staff Union of Universities downed their tools on the 14th of February 2022. The memorandum of Agreement signed in 2009 refused to be implemented, causing ASUU to begin strike action. As a result, education is on hold, and students have lost their lives engaging in other activities instead of learning in various institutions.
The EndSars protest that took over the country in 2020 was a statement from the youths who were fed up with the country’s current situation. Despite being one of the poor factions of people in the country, they are also exploited by various security agencies, most notably The Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a dreaded unit of the Nigerian police force.
For synergy to exist between youths and the government, various measures must be implemented before such a relationship can exist. First, credible infrastructures that can improve the quality of life must be implemented. It’s a shame that an uninterrupted power supply is still a lofty dream in this country. A constant power supply will kick-start the establishment of medium and small-scale enterprises. A well efficient transportation system will boost movement, improve productivity and lead to a general increase in welfare in the country.
Young Nigerians should also be given a seat at the table. The current system of government is non-inclusive, where power belongs to older men and women and youths are marginalised. However, the youths are fountains of innovation, and when an opportunity is granted to them, they tend to increase in development in such regions.
Skills development should also be a priority by the government in power. The syllabus of Technical colleges, Polytechnics and Monotechnics should be revamped and improved to correspond to the current clime in the world. The world is progressing in all facets, and the Nigerian youths shouldn’t be left behind.
The current crop of youth in our beloved country is frustrated. It’s common knowledge that Nigerian youth are ticking time bombs waiting to be utilised by harmful agents. It’s up to the government to come to their senses and propagate and promote great laws that are youth-centred. A collaboration between the youth and the government is full of hope, future and ambition.