Nigeria, just like many other African countries, has an enormous youth population grappling with unemployment and financial incapability. There is an abundance of lack in the midst of much more abounding resources, the proper application of which is always debated. It needs also be stated that the problem is worsened by the lack of adequate opportunities and financial literacy.
Governments at various levels recycle spurious empowerment schemes, offering pittances in exchange for the altruistic dignity of the supposed beneficiaries. It hurts to see local councils offer uniforms to jobless youths and sending them out to collect questionable taxes or as supposed traffic marshals without due attention to adult education classes for them, or much more importantly, judiciously applying the council revenue to revamp dilapidated primary/secondary schools whose continued failure turns out destitute youths in the first place.
Often the media is awash with tales of Governors inaugurating ‘ingenious’ employment schemes that tend to benefit more of their political permutations and less of the state’s economy than they are willing to admit. It is encouraging to see thousands of youths put on a monthly stipend, we however must ask questions about the foreseeability of financial independence for those youths through such schemes. Truth is, financial security is virtually impossible even after working ten years at such less dignifying and exerting jobs.
It is time to tell the ‘First Ladies’ to redirect the bogus sums spent holding organizing rallies on girl-child empowerment, to actually building schools for them; to better use the funds earmarked for staple food distributions, to equip young farmers through agricultural education and grants. We need tell our leaders to cease dropping fish at our feet, but rather take us to the deep and teach us to cast our nets too.
@tobisammyjay on Twitter