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2023 International Youth Day: Youth taking charge against all social constraints, by Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga

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2023 International Youth Day: Youth taking charge against all social constraints, by Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga

In commemoration of the 2023 International Youth Day celebration, voices echo around the world, but in Nigeria, the resonance is particularly impassioned. The youth bear witness to a multitude of socioeconomic challenges that hinder their potential, persistently threatening their ambitions and dreams. This year’s celebration has its theme “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”.

Economic struggles, lack of employment opportunities, illiteracy, poverty, limited orientations, and exclusion from decision-making processes have long plagued the Nigerian youth, stifling their collective progress.

The cornerstone of Nigeria’s youth predicament lies in the economic sphere. Despite being blessed with vast natural resources, the distribution of wealth remains heavily skewed. This disparity perpetuates the cycle of poverty and high unemployment rates.

Without access to job opportunities, Nigeria’s youth face a bleak future, confined to financial limitations and stripped of hope. Desperate to escape this trap, they resort to any means necessary, often falling victim to exploitation or engaging in criminal activities.

READ ALSO: Google partners Nigeria to create 1 million digital jobs for youths

Illiteracy acts as a silent cancer, gnawing at the heart of the nation. The lack of quality education prevents the youth from acquiring the necessary skills to compete in the increasingly competitive global job market. As a result, they are confined to menial jobs, struggling to earn a decent living.

Furthermore, a lack of orientation and guidance exacerbates these challenges, leaving young Nigerians feeling lost and directionless.

Perhaps the most disheartening aspect of this tale is the exclusion of the youth from decision-making processes. Their dreams and aspirations are relegated to the sidelines, overshadowed by the older generation’s authority. This undermines the potential of the youth, depriving Nigeria of fresh ideas, innovation, and new perspectives. By silencing their voices, the nation risks stagnation, for the youth hold within them the key to Nigeria’s future.

However, amidst these social constraints, a glimmer of hope emerges. Nigerian youths have begun to unite, determined to break free from these shackles. Embracing the power of collaboration, they have formed communities and support networks aimed at empowering each other. Through youth-led initiatives, they strive to develop innovative solutions to address key issues such as unemployment, illiteracy, and poverty.

Furthermore, advocacy groups and civil society organizations are working tirelessly to amplify the voices of youths, ensuring their participation in decision-making processes. By harnessing the power of technology and social media, Nigeria’s youths have garnered attention on a global scale, pushing for change and demanding a seat at the table.

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s International Youth Day, it is crucial to remember that the future lies in the hands of the youth. Only by empowering them, breaking down barriers, and providing equal opportunities can Nigeria transcend the limitations that have plagued its progress. The voices of the youth must be heard, for in their dreams, Nigeria’s potential truly shines.

International Youth Day is celebrated globally on the 12th of August every year.

Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a journalist with Neptune Prime and he writes from Minna, Niger State capital. He can be reached via: talk2hamzaabaga@gmail.com.

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