We have a very young population; our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. More than 60 percent of the population is below the age of 30. A lot of them have not been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare and education free”. If I am right, these are the exact words of Mr. President, documented on the 18th April, 2018 at Commonwealth Economic Forum held in United Kingdom.
I am not Wole Soyinka, neither Chinua Achebe, but what I do know is that in English Language; words can be use denotatively or connotatively. Looking at the statement made by Mr. President, specifically where he said “therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare and education free”, connotatively, a clause ‘laziness’ is the right word to befits the statement.
At almost every Nigerian literary event I have attended, lack of reading culture in Nigeria always dominants the topic of the day.
The falling standard of education, increasing culture of materialism, poverty and online distractions are among the reasons why if one wants to hide a secret from Nigerians, one should document it in a book. Based on some comments I read about Nigerian Youths especially in the literature, they are doing quite well. But because of the manifestation of ignorance and mental laziness in this country, efforts by scholars’ and researchers’ in contributing to the body of knowledge seems to be useless.
The World Bank in their economic forecast published in 2015 commented the effort of Nigerian youths despite the challenges ravaging the country, yet Nigerian youths still engage in some economic activities which escalated and permeated the Nation’s economy. Similarly, UNESCO in 2016 urged other African youths to emulate Nigerian youths by engaging in entertainment industry for the economic growth and development of the continent, which fetched Nigeria 2nd largest film producer in the world.
Based on what is documented by INEC in 2015, 87 percent of the votes casted were the youths. Apparently, most of Nigerian leaders are where they are today as a result of the relentless efforts and huge sacrifices tabled by the youths. In 2015, Nigeria recorded a hitch free election since the return of democracy in Nigeria whereby the youths were notable figures especially National Youth Service Corps that were under the sun in order to restore democracy in Nigeria and have it name written in gold.
It is only in Nigeria one can see the youths been paid 15,000 per month as a take home salary, yet, they still remain faithful to the organisations they are working for. It is only in Nigeria one can see the youths on the street accelerating at the same speed with a car in order to sell pure water.
The Nigerian condition is so bad, so much so that the youths can do anything within their capacity to survive. A country where organisations cannot account for dozen of curriculum vitae submitted by graduates; a country where the youths can sometimes sneezes and accompanied it with a full bucket of water.
A country where the more you see things, the less you understand, I wish Nigerian dailies could allot the whole space to me so that I can articulate what Nigerian youths are passing through, because limited space constrained the fact about this country. Yet our leaders are sitting in their offices enjoying air condition and attributing speeches that will drive the existing agony of the youths in to the mold.
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