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Any hope for Nigeria’s maladjusted youth?

Any hope for Nigeria’s maladjusted youth?
April 13
13:38 2018
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Nigeria’s latest population estimate stood at 198 million. Half of this population is made up of youths between ages 15-34. As of 2012, when the total population estimate was 167 million, Nigeria already had over 11 million unemployed youths. Due to lack of planning, structured policy, vision, great role modelling and personal drive, many of the Nigerian youths are maladjusted in their thinking, orientation as well as in their daily behaviours. With such a huge maladjusted population, is there a hope for the changes and bright future we are aiming at?

While we cannot deny a small fraction of Nigerian youths are blazing the trail in different scientific and social innovations which are adding real value to the economy, a higher percentage of our youths lack direction and are disillusioned. One needs not go too far. Have a conversation on the street, strike an intelligent conversation in a group, monitor conversation on the Nigeria social media space and one will have enough evidence to show many of our youths are maladjusted. A maladjusted person in simple term lacks adequate capacity to respond appropriately to his/her environment’s challenges and opportunities.

Maladjusted individuals cases may be as a result of upbringing, quality of education and exposure. While the government may be blamed for this predicament, analysis of youth unemployment indicates many of our youths lack employability skills.This has created a gap in demand and supply of labour.

Unfortunately, unlike what obtains in a country like the United Kingdom where government makes available fund for agencies involved in relevant skills acquisition and they sometimes have to beg youths to attend for free, there seems to be no such policy framework to arrest this situation in Nigeria. Hence unemployment rate amongst the youth continues to sky-rocket while the youths are daily becoming perplexed with regards to what to do in preferring solutions to their common environmental challenges.

A few individuals and non-profits involved in this are never supported officially. Though some state government created something close to this, politics and corruption and lack of proper monitoring had not allowed such agencies to deliver value at their best.

As already stated above, causes of maladjusted may be varied. It starts with the family. Family values in many places are no longer cherished. Money has become all in all and how you get it is irrelevant as long as you have it in millions. In many urban cities, parents hardly have time together with their children. House helps and other relatives, as well as the media, have become their teachers.

There are also social and economic causes. Economy has been in a bad shape for a while. Many bread winners have no bread to eat nor to bring home. Child labour and street trading had become the order of the day. Many children are now growing up in the street. As parents’ financial fortune dwindle, the psychological effect of this is enough for some parent to let go of a vibrant life they had envisaged.  This personal discomfort to the planned parents’ life journey does have adverse effects on how they can provide required  emotional support the youths demand.  While street knowledge is good, overexposure of children turned youth to the street always have a damaging effect on the psyche of the youths they become.

Overexposure of our youths in the street often lead to peer-related mental disequilibrium. Our schools in itself are not preparing them for the kind of reality they will be exposed to immediately after four years’ degree. Many of them do not immediately or easily adapt to this harsh reality. Before they know, three or four years would have slipped through their hands roaming the street. An idle hand and a hungry stomach are enough to lead some to a disoriented personality. Boko Haram has had a great opportunity for recruitment through this channel. There are exceptions to this but the majority fall into this category.

With current Nigeria’s population and the seeming advantage one can see the youths have, one will expect that the proper understanding of the power of number they have will cause them to unite and change the governance situation which slow down economic  growth to their own advantage. But not so with the Nigerian youths.

The few who seem to have a form of education and appear to be enlightened will rather fight and abuse one another on social media platforms instead of getting involved in the process of desired change. This process begins with the collection of their voters’ card. The uneducated and uninformed see their voters’ card as a short time meal ticket. So they rush to get one. Each time one  looks at the figure of uncollected voters’ cards and the zones most affected, one cannot but  cry for a beloved country.

Majority of these maladjusted youths will look for money to keep their favourite  house mates in some of our television reality shows but see no point in investing in their own personal development which is available online. There are free, practical courses which had built necessary skills for me as a writer, journalist than many of the courses I read in the university.

As long as our youths remain maladjusted and seek no help, their future is at stake. Unfortunately, we all have one life to live. Despite the challenges we all face or the solid excuses we may have, we do not have a second chance. At a point in time, every one will transit to the great beyond. At this point, we would all have had the opportunity to add to the problem or resolve some. It is a choice.

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