Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja has called on governments at various levels in Nigeria to find solutions to the ravaging unemployment and brain drain among Nigerian youth.
According to the Archbishop, “We are focused on the youth, forced by cruel realities in our country to lose hope, and others have left the country in search of greener pastures, while many more are contemplating the same line of action. They are frustrated by serious unemployment and grave security situation, and many of the best brains seek to migrate.
“Some youths even went to the Ukrainian Embassy here in Nigeria to be enrolled to go to war against Russia as a way of keeping gainfully employed. Even with its attendant dangers, many youths are still prepared to trek the Sahara Desert and cross the Mediterranean Sea. Do you blame them? The youth showed during the #EndSARS demonstration that they are disillusioned.”
He reiterated that youths are the country’s “most valuable natural resources”, hence, remains critical to the development of Nigeria as a nation.
Kaigama was speaking on a theme: “Rekindling Hope in the Nigerian Project” during the opening session of the 2022 Lenten Campaign held at the Pro-Cathedral in Abuja on Sunday, March 13 when he disclosed that some of the best brains feel frustrated and were seeking to leave the country, because of acute unemployment and insecurity.
The clergyman called to mind that President Muhammadu Buhari, had in his 2021 New Year speech following the #ENDSARS protests, promised that the government will “develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions” in close and effective collaboration with religious bodies.
However, he frowned that the federal government agencies are squeezing out taxes from churches and/or making things difficult for the churches instead of recognising the closeness of the churches to youths and help empower the worship centres with grants to do more in areas of schools, hospitals, and other social services,
Meanwhile, experts have advocated for the empowering of youths in skills acquisition and human capacity development.
According to Aliko Dangote, the chief executive officer of Dangote Group, “By 2030, about a quarter of the world’s population under the age of 25 will be in or from Africa. So the economic prospects not only in Africa but of the world depend on the skills, capacities, and productivity of our youth.”