There is an adage in Yoruba that says “Ajala ta n na ee? mbe yin naa nu (Ajala who beats you? Aren’t you the one)” The recent comment made by the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Commonwealth nations leader summit christening most of the Nigerian youths as lazy painted a scenario where a father publicly crucify his children for lacking virtues and integrity but failed to see that he is the one that failed the children as their guidance and leader.
The aged people are fond of telling us how unadulterated and natural their lives were during their youthful days. But ask them whether the indices in existence are the same as now. They could foresee the change through the advent technology and internet but failed to insure a future for us. Getting education back then is a prerequisite for a successful and fulfilling life. Can such be said in the present situation?
After struggling to get educated even in a government owned school that the tuition is like that of the privately owned one, with no bursary coming from anywhere, with so much toil and struggle. The outside world is even more hostile. The president said the youths prefer to sleep at home and expect everything to be done for them. Who says we don’t want to get educated or why do you think our uneducated parents want their wards to get educated no matter the price? because education means better life during their age. But now there is no incentive to get educated. The young man that has B.sc. from University is sitting at home, roaming his area with the uneducated. He couldn’t get a jobjob with his certificate. It was under this present administration that over seven millions Nigerians lost their jobs.
It is from this part of the world that travelling abroad is dubbed a successful endeavor. White man’s land has become heaven on earth. Our leaders have the privilege of visiting, but only for their gratification. They failed to bring the enticements to their own doorstep. Imagine N360, 000 equaling just a meager $1000, won’t one be tempted to get out there to get their currency?
Many Nigerian youths are leaving their homeland in search of greener pastures in an uncertain world. Many lives laced the Sahara desert lifeless and fed the Mediterranean fish. Some of those alive even refused to return home to show the extent of suffering being dished out to them in their fatherland.
We are even getting a new dose of parochial preaching that we should be an entrepreneur, yes we can but is there a conducive environment for our business to thrive? Will my venture be patronized by them? Those that said we should be patronizing home made goods are the one drinking tea made from china, wearing Italian Shoe, using furniture made in Switzerland.
The country has no incentives in place to entice talents. The social structure is not encouraging for upcoming entrepreneur. Those with glorious ideas were dissuaded by our wrecking bureaucracy. In an economy that is dire need of diversifying, a citizen without prior technical knowledge was able to invent Electromagnetic Frequency Transmitter which could cover few kilometres. This young man was arrested for operating on an illegal bandwidth and all his inventions confiscated! Why are we so myopic? Why? This man is now in front of his parent’s house in a remote part of Osun state repairing electronic gadgets for people.
Well, it is never too late for a genuine change to happen. This change must be pursued genuinely if we actually want it to be evident. The world is experiencing the fourth industrial revolution which is characterized by Internet Of Things (IOT), Robotics blockchain, nanotechnology amongst others. Recently, Minister of education in Saudi Arabia mandated a subject on Programming and coding for all students equivalent of our Junior Secondary School III. That is how to prepare your children for new generation not celebrating the invention of pencil in 2017 as a landmark event.
The world is moving at a fast pace and is being led by youths, Nigeria must tap into the potentials of her youths to catch up with the rest of the world. We have abundance of talents in this country. Young world leaders today were given opportunity to showcase their talents. The socio political structure recognises the vigour the youth possess and they allowed it to find expression. We’ve heard the story of Emmanuel Macron current president of France, age 40. He was once a minister. Same thing can be said for the youngest president in the world, Sebastian Kurtz of Austria. He is 31 years old and a former minister of foreign affairs.
Coming down to Africa, Abiy Ahmed the prime minister of Ethiopia is 42 years old. He was once a Minister of Science and Technology. Nigerian leaders must look inward to involve the youths in the administration set up of the country to inject youthful ideas into the public policies. The youths should be saddled with greater responsibilities that will enhance them for future leadership roles.
One of the functions of government is the provision of employment opportunities. Jobs must be created for our new graduates as to encourage little and unborn children to get education. Finishing tertiary education and getting jobs, starting a business which is thriving in a good economy will make our youth want to stay and build this nation.
Lastly, the economy should be deregulated to ensure small scale enterprises are not frizzled out by the giant industries. Home made goods must be genuinely patronized to encourage existing and prospective entrepreneurs.
© SOLOMON Temitope Omotayo.