Nigeria News

Our Population: Asset or Liability

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Nigeria News takes a look at the country’s population as an asset or liability.

Most times,we brag of having the largest population in Africa. With 33 million of the over175 million Nigerians being youths that are supposed to drive the economy.

However, itis quite unfortunate that more than 70 per cent of the youths are unemployed. Wehave even started bragging of growing a population of over 200 million in thenext few years to become the third most populous nation in the world, yet thishas not translated to economic prosperity.

The country churns out thousands of university graduates every year with no job for them to do. The youths become liabilities to the nation. The graduates depend on their retired parents to live on pension that is not sufficient to take care of other needs.

Every morning and noon, thousands of youths run on the streets, in the traffic to sell different items, including soft drinks and sausages.

Some of themare graduates who have to become street hawkers to make ends meet. Of coursethe largest number of armed robbers and kidnappers in our society are youths.

The internetfraudsters, popularly called “Yahoo Boys” are youths. Our youths havegone miserable. They are angry.

They are frustrated by the kind of leaders the country has got now, who only think about themselves and their children.

Theeducation sector is left to decay every minute. Many factories where they couldwork have been turned to worship centres.

There are more churches than factories. And despite this, wives have not stopped breeding. More babies are being given birth to.

In fact,there are baby factories across the country, illegally owned by evil men whoengage in human trafficking.

But in Kenya, another African country, its government set up a school of hospitality where youths are trained as assets and exported to foreign countries, mostly Dubai to generate income for the country.

In Rwanda, the government invested in human capacity development to turn around its economy. These countries do not have Nigeria’s resources or human talents.

These are countries that have a small population compared to Nigeria. They have turned their small population to an asset while this remains a liability in Nigeria.

Nigerian youths run away from the country through the most dangerous route of the Mediterranean Sea. They die on their way to seeking greener pasture.

The luckyones among them are repatriated to add to the population of jobless youths inNigeria.

Why? They left the country without any skill. If they survive slavery life abroad, they are repatriated for lack of authentic immigration documents.

When she was talking on May 1, to mark Workers Day, the Chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs Ibukun Awosika lamented over the unskillfulness of our youths.

To her, population is a liability if it has no economic value. She called on the Federal Government to create a model in which the youths can be trained in special skills that can be exported out of the country.

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