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Opinions of Thursday, 8 July 2021

Columnist: Kasim Isa Muhammad

Any future for Nigerian youths?

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With the abduction of school children, kidnapping on the major highways, an increase in tuition fees by the Kaduna State government, Nigeria appears to be on the brink of collapse if nothing is done. The question is, who will bring succour at this time of unprecedented crises?

Nigeria got independence 60 years ago and it will clock 61 in few months to come; unfortunately, the country lacks direction. Innocent citizens are being killed daily; graduates roam streets looking for jobs while politicians are buying luxury cars, taking their children abroad to study, while the children of the poor are left in dilapidated classrooms.

As if these problems militating against the country are not enough, Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State increased tuition fees in the state’s schools. Instead of the governor providing lasting solutions to the problems bedeviling the state, he chose to add salt to the current problems of the people. Do children of the poor have a future in this country? The answer to this question is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf because when you fail to educate the children of the poor that voted you into office, you will never know peace. It’s high time the governor had a rethink.

According to statistics, 900 schools were destroyed in Nigeria recently, more especially in the northwestern part of the country. But unfortunately, many Nigerians don’t find this worthy to talk about; rather they worry about the Twitter ban, even though we all know how some unpatriotic Nigerians are using the app to spread hatred, disunity, unsubstantiated stories that will bring about conflict in the country.

Have we forgotten the slogan that children are the leaders of tomorrow?

Yes, there is the need to ask this question when the so-called leaders of tomorrow are forced to stay at home because their parents cannot afford their tuition fees. Are they even leaders of tomorrow when their leaders fail to protect their lives and properties?

In some developed countries, technology has been playing a key role in expanding opportunities for learning and entrepreneurship. Here, the government invests insufficient funds in technological development globally acknowledged as a modern pillar in providing massive job opportunities.

Currently, our youths graduate from their various universities with outdated skills, hence with no chance of getting a decent job. The government needs to introduce new curricula in our universities to inspire the youths, and to fit them into the emerging global economy.

International investors should be encouraged to enlarge their poverty alleviation programmes for the millions of youths living without any hope here in Nigeria. Putting the economy back on track and carrying out regular public works will certainly help to mitigate the unemployment problem. When the government provides job opportunities and tackles the issues of insecurity, future generation will write the name of our leaders in gold.

Now in Nigeria, the only thing we need is to collectively work together. Our problems are beyond political affiliations, ethnicity, religion, and sectionalism. We need to take a deep breath and ask ourselves what the future will hold for the younger generation.