Poor human capacity: Redeeming Nigerian youths to optimise population advantage for national development


The productivity of youths in Nigeria is a subject that draws depth of reservations as matters of discourse, many of which attract deep concern. Particularly, subjects relating to human capacity development is one of the profile of discourse central to youth matters in the Country. It is apparent that as complexities in the Nigerian society continue to assume dynamic dimensions, it has become observable that dynamics which have characterised youth development in the Country have been characterised with observable deficiencies in institutions which have made  the  framework of socialisation processes  in the Country ridden with defects, making proper development for youths fast becoming incongruous with deserving expectations.

Prevailing realities have shown how the  erosion of moral uprightness have begun to assume deeper dimensions. The profile of myriads of social delinquencies compounding as rots largely constituting unsavoury strings affecting the entire fabrics of the Country, are signals of debilitation hostile to prospects of development. Hence, it is apparent that gaps in societal institutions are revealing inherent frailties in the formation of structures which makes Nigerian youths more susceptible to threats of degenerating unto unwholesome postures of poor human capacity, than appreciable development. The conditions have become so sedimented and regimented by recalcitrant formations which expose youths in the Country to situations that push them closer to inordinate conducts and practices, than productive adventures for development.

The manifestations of myriads of illicit conducts, criminal escapades, and immoral exhibitions are, by and large, reflections of prevailing rot of systems which have pushed simple minds among the youths to mischievous misadventures. Hence, since the forces created by the frailties of societal institutions have left strings in the societal fabrics which are stronger than the provisions of such institutions, more youths have been susceptible to complying to the alluring influences of mischievous escapades than adventurous commitments towards societal development.

The profile of development in Nigeria — socio-economic, cultural and political — have remained on the face of discourse over time. The paradox that greets such discourse revolves around why development has become a facade despite the enormity of resources the Country has at her disposal.  While population is known, by studies, to be of veritable advantage to boosting economic development, it is lamentable that the teeming youthful population of the Country rather than stir economic virility, is to a larger degree, constituting threats to national development. It is not far-fetched that institutions in the Nigerian society have not been set aright to galvanise, by development of structures, the coordination of the strength of youths for useful purposes.

Hence, the lacunas have only resultantly created strings channeling productive energies and intelligence to mischievous escapades. Among others, the preponderance of such escapades as cyber-crime, kidnap-for-ransom, fraud, and robbery led by youths for individualistic cheap benefits, are just outcomes of misplacement by diversion of productive energies and intelligence from useful adventures which would have been grounds for spurring national development, to escapades with rots and threats against development possibilities.

Nigeria in a recent report conducted by Commonwealth Secretariat on the 2020 Global Youth Development Index, which measured the status of young people in 181 countries around the world, was ranked 161st.  In the words of Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC, before the release recently:  “Young people are indispensable to delivering a future that is more just, inclusive, sustainable and resilient. By measuring their contributions and needs with hard data, our advocacy for their development becomes more powerful, and we are then able incrementally to increase the positive impact and benefits youth are able to add towards building a better future for us all.”

It is pertinent for the Government at all levels in the Nigerian Federation to turn attention to the course of youth development. It is incontestable that insensitivity to the necessity of developing structures within the societal fabrics to respond to proper development for youths as complexities in the Nigerian societal formations evolve, has created strings of deformities which have constituted threats to the Country. The confluence of myriads of escapades have recently made peaceful societal cohabitation an unpurchased luxury in the Country.

It is known that escapades besetting the Nigerian society are majorly led by youths who have found no option than to opt for mischievous tendencies to make ends meet. It is paramount that the Government become alive in crafting strategic measures to remodify the workings of its systemic formations to complement all working sectors –  education, economy and politics, inter alia, to address the prevailing gaps which have constituted strings of defects exposing youths to becoming preys easily succumbing to mischievous escapades. Hence, it is imperative that such strategic measures be coordinated in complementary dimensions which speak and respond to the need to fortify, by metamorphic framework, all institutions paramount to propelling formidable profile of human capacity development among Nigerian youths.

It is inarguable that the insensitive posture to the necessity of youth capacity development could be identified as one of the factors ascribable to the railing uproar of the 2020 #ENDSAR protests. It is evident that the crunching impacts are still very much glaring to the Country. It is imperative, therefore, for the Government to systemically muster attentive efforts, by visionary strategies, to vitalise sectors in the Country to give resonating provisons to responding to formidable youth capacity development.

Placing emphasis on policies to create ample opportunities for youths within the framework of education and the economy is key. It is evident that the profile of uneducated youths in the Country is alarming, just as the unemployment rate is known to be drawing closer to 40 per cent. The profile for youth underemployment appears to be worse off. The need to strengthen investment in young Nigerians, mental health services, technical trainings,  safety measures and youth participation in decision-making, is paramount to redeem youths from rot and transform them to well groomed personalities as well as formidable leaders who could firmly manage the future of the Country as a synosure of all eyes in the international community.

It is paramount for the Government to play its role strategically while support from other societal institutions, be it cultural, religious, family and social, among others, are expected to vitalise socialisation processes with enhancing inputs for formidable human capacity development profile for Nigerian youths. It is imperative for Nigeria to optimise her teeming youthful population for formidable national development. Appreciable human capacity development of the youth is non-negotiable to optimise these advantages.