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    Wednesday, December 13, 2017

    The Significance of Youth Development in Nigeria


    In contemporary Nigeria, the high level of redundant youths is highly alarming. The preponderance of youth restiveness has fuelled the prevalence of social vices such as exponential increase in thuggery, prostitution, armed robbery, gambling among others. More than any other time in history, it is high-time that the phenomena of the youths are addressed. 

    Youths refers to the young boys and girls in the community. It often argued that the scope of youth ranges from 15 to 45. This may be hard to challenge consequent upon the fact that those periods are the most active and vibrant times in human lives. Shall we then put these productive periods to waste? A resounding NO. It is against this backdrop that an exploration into the regiment of youths remains imperative and maintains a huge area of concern. 

    However, there is a seemingly factual assumption that more than half of 182 Million Nigerians are youths. Neglecting this group of people should baffle a sane mind. To underscore the relevance of the youth, the United Nations set aside every 12th day of August to celebrate the International Youth Day. This started in August 2000 with the aim of showcasing the pillar the youth holds in the economic growth and development of any given state. Therefore, there is a compelling need to task these accumulating but defenceless soldiers to work, otherwise they may revolt. While their reactions may not only be cataclysmic, the goodwill (legitimacy) enjoyed by the government automatically diminishes. 

    In light of the foregoing, realizing the potentials of the youths is not a subject worthy to be substituted. Examining the process through which the youths have been developed from time immemorial, even a blind can notice there has been a faulty build-up. It is high time we corrected this anomaly. The youths are blessed with different potentials and at such, should be developed along the innate potentials. Contrarily, our society places premium on only intellectual youth empowerment skills and this has rendered some youths' potentials useless. While the importance of developing the intellectual skills of the youths cannot be over romanticized, we need consider other skills some youths are blessed with. 

    Unarguably, some youths are blessed with the potential to be outstanding footballers and should be given physical youths empowerment skills, others may be best suited for singing and dancing which is tailored along creative (artistic) youth empowerment skills. Ditto to those that are potential businessmen and businesswomen, and would be better if groomed in the realm of economic youth’s empowerment skills. The need for the sensitization of the public, particularly parents on the appropriate manner of youth development is imperative. Parents should observe their child/children while growing so as to equip them with requisite arsenals. In this 21st century, there is a paradigm shift from the old belief of 'schooling and be successful'. If one is not grounded in schooling, he is as bad as the unschooled. With the way sport, music, entertainment and fashion have been making waves, there are assured indications that the opportunities abound for those who could see. That is why the youths must also demonstrate passion and desire. 

    However, is that the government should create enabling economic environment in order for the youth to demonstrate their dexterity. While creation of jobs should be a priority of an altruistic government, the youths should be timely educated on the enormous opportunities they have when they put their potentials to work. No doubt, the role of the parents as the first agent of political socialization puts them in good stead. This role should not be ambushed or left forlorn for no reason. Responsible parenthood should be demonstrated by and in all means. The only means we could have a society at peace, progressive and productive is by developing the youths. 

    Ifeoluwa Dosunmu

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