Nigerian economy and youth empowerment

By Henry Ndukuba

The Nigerian Economy and the Debt Burden: We commend the efforts of Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria in stabilising our economy. The post-COVID era will be challenging. We must express our concern at the speed Nigeria is borrowing from International organisations and countries. The debt burden is becoming such that our future generations and succeeding Governments will blame all their woes on servicing the Debts we are incurring now. The diversification of our economy, especially the Agricultural Sector and Solid Minerals are viable sectors that must be explored. If we borrowed to create Industrial hobs and new Industrial cities that will help our Economy and create employment for our citizens, it would have been better.

Corruption Complex: The hydra-headed monster called CORRUPTION is Nigeria’s worst enemy. Let the truth be said that the Buhari administration, just like past administrations, has not tamed this monster. In some ways, this administration has made more efforts in tackling Corruption but their pitfall is in the politicisation of fight against Corruption. Selective Justice is no justice; it is at best a gross Injustice. One sees that the state of Insecurity in itself is a very lucrative business and industry for some people.

The lack of transparency in the execution of some good programmes and policies leave so much to be desired. When the Armed Forces complain that they are underfunded and do not have the weapons to execute the war against Insurgency and Banditry, it raises the issue of what happened to the One Billion Dollar Loan for the equipping of the Military to fight insurgency. Nigerians would like to know what is happening to both the Budgetary and extra-Budgetary provisions. We commend all the developmental achievements in infrastructural developments. While we are battling with insecurity we consider that it is not wisdom to borrow to build railway to Niger or any other neighbouring country, when we should cut down on the influx of aliens and are unable to manage our internal borders. The influx of Bandits from Libya and Mali and Killer herdsmen from other West African regions make it an imperative for tighter border control in Nigeria. These are some of the elements fuelling violence and insurgency in Nigeria.

Youth Employment and Future Engagement: It is a fact that greater percentage of our population is youth. This demography can be a great strength to Nigeria, if the young people are mobilised, given skills and can be trained and sent to occupy places in the world. India has utilised her young people to engage the Media, Technology, and Sciences in Britain, Europe and USA. Nigeria can do more and constructively engage our West African Region, Africa and the world. Youth Unemployment is a ticking time bomb. And with the prevailing poverty and frustration, the coming 2023 General Elections, the ravaging Drug culture, Crime and Insurgency strategic engagement of the Youth is an imperative. One of the Nigeria Media outfit presented a survey, which made it clear that “More Nigerians are getting frustrated.” They project that different Geopolitical Zones have a percentage of desperation as follows: South West 40%; South East 64%; South-South 65%; North East 70%; North Central 55% and North West 56% (Channels News; 2 May 2021). This paints the picture of potential flash points for agitation in the country. The major problem is that some politicians and leaders have mastered the art of exploiting every problem in the Nation as a means of exploiting and looting the system.

There is need for international investigation into all the Funds being spent for empowering the youth, the so-called job creation and loans. The misuse of the palliatives is a case in hand. While weapons are acquired to fight insurgency, economic measures must be deployed to engage our Youth.
(Culled from 2021 Abuja Diocesan Bishop’s Charge by The Ven. (Dr.) Princewill O. Ireoba)

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