The development of any society is the interplay between man and his environment. This interplay and ensure self-discovery plays a major role in energizing and mobilizing the people towards a common goal.
Youth can be seen as a special group of people with strong stamina and passion for realizing certain set goals and objectives while national development is the general improvement in the lives of individuals, groups, and the environment. When looking for these two concepts, it is safe to say, that youths are important to the actualization of our national development if their mindset is channeled in the right direction.
One of the major problems of Nigeria is corruption. Youths have a greater role to play in national development. It has been suggested that Nigeria could by 2030 reap the benefits of what some called a “demographic dividend” if it invests now in human development. Nigeria’s current demographic structures could be future assets when a demographic window of opportunity opens as fertility and high youth dependency declines. In fact, The Nigeria youths, not oil, are the future of Nigeria.
Unfortunately, these projections, expectations, and future forecasts, would not be realistic due to the prevailing realities. The current state of the mind of the Nigerian youth is not encouraging and doesn’t inspire confidence. Societal neglect and the government’s inability to design an integrated and implementable policy framework targeting the youthful energy for national development have left the youth without mentorship and direction.
Due to the lack of opportunities and supports based in the country, the only place of consolation for the youthful minds to showcase their talents and energy is in the entertainment industry. Entertainment, though a multi-million dollar sector in advanced countries, but, is a diversionary and idle sector for the pool of human resources and creativity that lie buried in the hands and hearts of Nigeria youth. I believe the Nigerian youth have more than, entertainment to offer this great nation.
The leaders and society, in general, must understand that development lies in the growth of youthful minds and souls with knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skill have become the global currency of the world. Unfortunately, there is no central bank in the world that prints such currency, except, leaders and societies device their own means of prints it. It is great to have oil and gas and other mineral resources, but according to Schleicher, they only weaken society in the long run unless they’re used to build schools and the culture of long-time learning.
It has often be argued that, if you want to know how a country is going to do in 21st century, don’t count its oil resources or gold, but, count it’s highly effective teachers involved parents and committed students. It is a knowledge based century; the ability of nations to rise and consolidate the gains of globalization lies in training and educating well.
Jarmadube Abigail Ngwamdiya writes from the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri