Among the many grave challenges that Nigeria is facing currently, preparing the young generation to add value to the national economy in the future seems to be the hardest. Since that last few years, the nation has been steeped in corruption, terrorist attacks, political uncertainty, high unemployment rates and poor educational opportunities. This creates a huge pressure not only on the society but also on the youths.
Challenges For Nigerian Youths
With constantly growing rate of unemployment, it is believed that around 75 per cent of Nigerian youths are ill-equipped to cope the international job market, recession and the global economy. This raises various other issues such as easy access to financial support for start-ups along with other challenges in development. Many experts and youth forums highlight the necessity of quality education as well as practical strategies that will enable young people to deal with specific needs and prepare them to deal with challenges in future. Mass poverty is one of the most menacing challenges in Nigeria and represents a big fraction of the overall national population. Most Nigerian youths face much difficulty in getting a job and starting their careers or even their own business.
Unemployment: The Biggest Challenge
Unemployment is a basic reality for almost all youths, which is even higher than adult unemployment rate. This clearly denotes an improper utilisation of our human capital resources, especially of the Nigerian youth. This also goes to show that most employers do not trust the skills, knowledge and experience of fresh graduates. Young people who get the chance to attend school education are compelled to stay in education for a longer duration by pursuing a masters degree programme. Employment opportunities are becoming more scarce with decreasing salaries and unstable careers.
Those youths who are unable to access higher education opportunities, tend to move away from the school system due to various factors like financial struggles, political disturbances etc. These people are often overlooked by the corporate sector and receive only menial jobs with minimal pay, mostly due to lack of skill and experience. According to statistics, more than 3 million youths in the state of Lagos are still unemployed. With over 2 million people under skilled for employment. Moreover, numerous others are forced to work in temporary jobs are usually taken advantage of by employment agencies with minimal pay and no benefits. Due to all these problems, youths in Nigeria are taking interest in unproductive activities like drug abuse, internet fraud, violent behavior, prostitution, criminal activities, repeated riots etc.
Offering Quality Education
A reputed English Professor said “The biggest problem Nigeria has with empowering her youth is the fact that they throw temporal solutions to permanent problem and never address issues from the grassroots”.
In the past few years, many NGOs have come forward with excellent processes, strategies and concepts that help the youth to access quality higher education and help them to develop skills that are essential for the workplace. The organisations have a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the Nigerian youth and know how these can be dealt with. Hence, they develop targeted solutions that will enable our youths to face various challenges and uncertainties and move closer towards economic independence.
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“In our collective resolve to drive a knowledge base economy, government has already concluded arrangement to adopt a free education for all indigene at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state”, declared Kano state Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso recently. Kano has always been in news for social turbulence. Suffering from various complications this Nigerian state is among the low rated places suffering from educational backwardness for a long time. Observing the poor enrollment tendencies in the state, Governor Kwankwaso has decided to take some important initiatives welcoming a knowledge-based economy.
Activating Education For All Is The Primary Target!
Shedding light on the budget proposals of 2014 that was held of late at Audu Bako Secretariat, Kano, Kano State Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Yusuf Bello Dambatta made it clear that the declaration regarding free education is an idea to accomplish Governor Kwankwaso’s mission for mass education at all levels in the state. The Governor added that “this is in addition to sponsoring of Kano indigenes to pursue their various degree programmes locally and internationally”, pointing out that the commencement of the free education for all Kano state indigenes from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions starting from the new academic session in 2014.”
It’s A Well-Planned Project That Deserves Success…
Predicting it would be an expensive attempt and to ascertain effective execution of the new programme, the Education sector has received the largest share of the sectoral allocation of more than N20billion with Ministry of Education N15.22billion and its ministry for Higher Education counterpart got N5.61billion. The list of policy programmes for 2014 fiscal year that focuses on educational development of the state includes more programmes like, N6.5 billion for the continuation work at Schools for Islamic Studies in each of the 44 LGAs. According to Kwankwaso announcement, an amount of N2 billion has been kept separately for the continuation of 44 Technical Schools one in each LGAs; adding that N241 million has equally been earmarked for the procurement of 15 mobile computing solar powered container box.
Governor Kwankwaso is immensely hopeful about the new plans and expects ninety percent successful completion of the project by this year. Governor Kwankwaso said that he is optimistic and believes that, 2014 budget of consolidation will not only consolidate the government’s development efforts but will ensure prudence and efficiency in its expenditure programmes. He has also promised to accomplish his targets using limited resources but achieve maximum impact. Governor Kwankwaso is expecting effective performance, transparency and accountability from Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the discharge of their functions.
It’s a giant step for sure. Most of the countries from developing region have been under constant threat of poverty, violence and political malice. Lack of transparency and innovation in administrative actions has been postponing their growth since years. Governor Kwankwaso’s mission to make education free for all is a landmark attempt as experts think that education is the key to development.