Youth as a concept having to do with the subject matter, varries in definition from society to society, and from culture to culture, due to which it is complex to be defined globally by exact range of age. According to the National Youth Policy 2019 , a youth in Nigeria is a person between 18-29 years. Youth, in a very general definition, is a period of life in-between childhood and adulthood.
On the other hand, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with one of the largest population of youths having the 60% of the approximated 212,038,975 total members. Despite youths of Nigeria having the largest chunk of the country’s population, Nigeria is being faced by numerous encumbrances hindering the nation from development.
It is an undeniable fact that youths are the spine of every country, and also the bridge upon which every developed country crossed to its pinnacle if development. More so, they are the threshold upon which the present and future of every society and country at large hinges upon.
However, the roles of the Nigerian youth in the emergencce of a new Nigeria cannot be overemphasized, having seen the fact that all the countries where youth are enabled to actively participate in nation building are usually most developed. In spite of the fact that patriotic commitments of nation building is a responsibility upon each and every citizen, youths are the main tool to be used in order to forge ahead a better Nigeria.
To achieve the foregoing, it is paramount to take cognizance of the stumbling blocks upon the roads of Nigerian youths and as well dig out the genesis of such problems, that hinder the youth from moving the country up to the path of progression, from their very root. These would forthwith build a straightforward bridge upon which solutions would be reached.
The most devastating aspect militating against the Nigerian youthful population is high rate of illiteracy. Which is the spine of almost all the problems crippling the youth of Nigeria. Such ensued to the inadequate and improper funding of educational sectors, and production of half baked graduates as a result of the inadequateness of the infrastructural and learning facilities in learning institutions, and unavailability of affordable education with great quality. Whereas, it takes education too see beyond pricks, conceive new thoughts, fathom problems and as well bring about applicable solutions.
Another aspect that must come to the fore front while counting the challenges of youth is disunity. In spite of the high population of youth in Nigeria, they are bound to be powerless both in voice and action, due to lack of unity among themselves. It has been in bright light that Nigerian citizens, particularly the youths who are the majority are religiously, tribally and regionally segregated. Due to which peace is as fragile as the shell of egg in the nation. Whereas unity and development are two side of a coin, without which Nigeria can’t move an inch towards progress.
Another issues standing as the clog in the wheel of the progress of Nigeria and and her youths is high rate of unemployment. it was recently brought to the front burner by CBN that 80 percent of Nigerian youths are unemployed, It also had it that seventy percent of the 80 million youth in Nigeria are either unemployed or underemployed, due to which many of the youths who are ought to be vigorously participating in riding the wagon of the nation towards progress are being engaged in a lot of crimes, such as kidnapping, Boko Haram, banditry and arm robbery, that are bedevelling the existence of people and as well impeding the nation from striding, as its should, towards progress.
More so, poverty is also a contributing factor in hindering youth of Nigeria from pushing it into progress. As the population of the youth is on the increase by day, so is the rate of poverty and low standard of living in the state. Which made the socioeconomic condition of the country so unfavorable and also increase the rate of crimes by eroding the ethics of youth to involve into criminal offences that grasped the security and peace of the country by the necks. With corruption and the appalling failure of government to furnish employment to the youths as its essential responsibility the youth are being incapicitated by poverty.
In spite of all, there are quite range of tremendous roles the Nigerian youths can play in the emergence of a new Nigeria, when a due consideration is given to their significance in sociopolitical and economic aspects by the government and the society, since the youths are forces to be reckoned with in every aspect the government.
What can succinctly be said to be the genesis of all the roles the Nigerian youths can play in building their nation is education, for only education can give them eyes to see beyonds pricks, invoke the spirit of patriotism in them, and as well make them honest, idealistic and hardworking in order conceive innovative ideas and foster positive changes.
Another important way the Nigerian youths can play roles in the emergence of a new Nigeria is by becoming a social entrepreneur in order to develop their own solutions. In this regard, the private sector, government and civil society should further support the youths in providing an enabling environment for social entrepreneurship. This would make them self dependent and as well contribute in the economic development of the nation by creating job opportunities and source of income.
Moreso, young people shouldn’t be marginalized from the mainstream of politics to be used as flame to ignite violence and disunity by some political elites in their attainment of power. They should rather be given room to engage in core political activities and participate in decision making. When given opportunities to participate they will foster positive and lasting changes in their community and also have greater sense of belonging.
Youths can also play a vital role towards uplifting Nigeria both economically and socially by involving in agriculture. Having seen the appalling increase in the rate of unemployment annually, ensued to the production of inundating number of graduates every year into civil service offices, where there is little or no room, and how the country is being threatened by insecurity of food due to lower production and higher consumption. When youth are actively involved in agriculture they’ll lessen the rate of unemployment by quite large percent and also ensure food security, which would advance the economic stability.
Above all, youth should establish unity and cooperation among themselves in order to contribute in the emergence of a new Nigeria via exercising the power of unity and collective actions.
Conclusively, when a radical heed is payed to the foregoings, the innate potentials of the youth would be tapped and used in the achievement of the whirlwind emergence of a better and new Nigeria.