Bringing youths back to agriculture. SOURCE: Agro News Nigeria

Statistics reveal that Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world, while UNESCO in 2017 disclosed that over 63 million youths are illiterates in Nigeria. However, other countries enjoy the benefits of their youth populations and maximise their development potential through demographic dividends. To you, how can Nigeria best harness the huge potential in her youth population to also boost her development process?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Our youth size connotes huge human potential that Nigeria must harness now. China, Korea, India etc are maximising the demographic dividends of their youth population. Our older ones in power must pave way for youths to take over for a better tomorrow.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* Youths are the vanguard for positive change. We can harness the huge potential in them by investing massively in their education and engaging them in productive ventures. Let our leaders provide right direction and involve the youths in policy formulation and implementation for this country to move forward. God bless the youths. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja

* The simple answer is increased funding for education, but implementation remains a problem, especially when our aversion to planning is considered vis-à-vis our penchant for corruption. But with a patriotic, visionary and focused government led by selfless individuals, we can achieve this.

Mr. John Ogunsemore, Lagos

* You can’t maximise the energy of youth without the basics. 63 million illiterate youths, according to UNESCO, is more than the population of South Africa. We must set up adult schools because they must know how to read and write and understand English, and after that, vocational schools.

Mr. Austine Nwanya, solid minerals consultant, Abuja

* The Nigerian youth are the future of our nation, which starts today. Hence they cannot be ignored. Believing and investing in our youth through wholistic education and empowerment is fundamental to our national development.

Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Youth is a transitory category. So it’s important to maximise the potentials and energy of our young people in technology, agriculture, industry and entertainment. If we harness this innovatively, our often sought self-reliance will be achieved.

Mr. Eze Nwangwu, Convener, Say No Campaign, Abuja

* With 63 million Nigerian youths God has given us viable human assets. If their potentials are properly harnessed, Nigeria would develop at a geometric rate across board. But our leaders have clung to power even at senile age, while the youths are intentionally sidelined with jobs, education, health, infrastructure, food, housing e.t.c. kept beyond their reach.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos

* Government must guarantee education at all levels, and employment without prejudice. The 1st Republic truly encouraged productivity, competitiveness and unlocked mineral resources in state and local government areas, unlike now.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State

* Our unemployment rate is high because there are no people-oriented programmes to cushion the rate, while leaders lodge our money into foreign accounts.

Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* There must be a critical evaluation of the Nigerian Youth laws and policy that will provoke development, while existing institutions in the country should be strengthened to create equal opportunities in leadership roles. Capacity building of the youth should be built to spur industrialisation, development.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder, Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

* For Nigeria to enjoy her large youth population, the nation has to industrialise. The service industry cannot absorb majority of the youths; thus strategic industrial policies are needed to engage the youths usefully.

Mr. Oluwapelumi Oyeniyi, Osogbo, Osun State

* Government must invest in human capacity and innovative education, with a system that gives equal opportunities and promotes creativity. When the youth are properly empowered, the competent ones must be allowed to participate in all sectors as key drivers of social and economic progress. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Ekpa, Stanley Ekpa, Author, ‘Writ of the Nigerian Dream’, Abuja

* The average Nigerian youth is enterprising and creative. What they need is empowerment and enabling environment to operate. With this, they can make the difference and compete in the world space. God bless Nigeria youth.

Mr. Kingsley Oparah, Lagos

* Since our top challenge is growing insecurity partly due to unemployment, we should recruit at least 100,000 youths from each state to serve as civilian JTF within their local governments of origin, to work closely with the overstretched army, police and civil defence corps. This would have a positive multiplier effect on the economy, all the way down to rural communities.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Give the youth quality education and provide for their basic needs through social intervention. Those that are qualified academically and technically should be encouraged to join the civil service to create that needed change.

Mr. Mark Ushie, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja

* Nigeria can enjoy its huge population when the youths are engaged in agriculture with government providing the enabling environment and funding for it to succeed. Government should revitalise all our industries, emulate China, and train our youths.

Pastor Ben Nwabuwe, Lagos State

* Government should provide enabling environment for the youths to contribute their quota to national development. Youths with leadership skills should be given leadership positions to effect positive change.

Mr. Paul Jideofor, Dept of Languages, FCT COE Zuba, Abuja

* Nigeria can enjoy youth advantage if it takes good interest in her youths who are the leaders of tomorrow and are above 70 per cent of the total population. Our youths are very energetic and we must allow them to lead while we follow to correct them.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna State

* With resource at our disposal we don’t need to complain of unemployment in Nigeria, but the blame should go to our leaders for not doing well in governance.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* The way Nigeria can best enjoy her youth population is to invest in them. Provide easy and affordable education. Teach them skills and provide them access to basic health. That means budgets for education, health and ICT have to be expanded and adequately funded. What we have had is a situation of self help. Government is largely absent in the lives of youths. That’s a dangerous way to go.

Mr. Anonymous, Lagos State

* Nigeria will benefit from her huge youth population when the leaders stop recycling old people and replace them with young, vibrant people with vision and global contacts, which will attract investments into the economy, and ensure growth plus reduced crime rate.

Mr. Nduanya Egbuna, Enugu State

* Let the government increase mechanised farming and plantation agriculture with more food processing companies to take care of the expected abundant harvest. There should be incentives to lure youths back to agriculture.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE FEEDBACK

Top tip: Quality education

Second: Skills empowerment

Third: Agricultural incentives

Radical tip: Youths’ take-over!

Total no of respondents: 22

Male: 19

Female: 3

Highest location: Lagos (9)

Next Week: Can Insecurity Scenario Derail Nigeria’s Devt?

Although the menace of Boko Haram insurgency has reduced, the current spate of daily killings across several states has increased insecurity in the country, which may affect investors’ confidence. To you, can the current insecurity scenario derail Nigeria’s development process or is the government up to the task of checking the negative trend?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (May 3 & Monday, May 7) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, May 10