Africa, Nigeria remains poor because leaders undermine youth creativity -Ex-Commissioner
The former Commissioner on Youth and strategy, Lagos State, Hon. Michael Bamidele lamented that African continent, particularly Nigeria is passing through developmental problem because the leadership had chosen to undermine youth creativity.
This according to him now brought myraids of challenges like poverty, high rate of crime and manipulations, saying no nation is capable of moving forward without proper engagement of her youth.
Bamidele stated on Wednesday in Abuja at the 2017 AU ECOSOCC Youth Stakeholders Summit to mark African Youth day with the theme: “Harnessing Demographic divided through investment in youth”.
He maintained that any government that attempts to ignore the youth or fails to harness their potentials and talents to impact positively on the priorities of that governance is actually doing so at a very grave cost, no matter how well-meaning or visionary such government might claim to be.
The Former Lagos Commissioner said that youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow but they are partner of today, adding that any leader that failed to invest on the youth is directly destroying the country.
According to him, “in Nigeria, not fewer that 60 million Nigerian youth are presently unemployed, roaming about the streets and battling with startvation, social neglect, elite exploitation, extreme penury, stagnation and squalor of the highest order.
“These prevailing circumstances have crippled the potentials of Nigerian youth for maximum expression, truncating their dreams and vision for a greater future.”
He noted that due to neglect, an average Nigerian youth is preoccupied with the pursuit of personal survival and secuirty, to the detriment of collective advancement as a nation and as a people.
“Despite the well acclaimed roles the youth are presumed to play in the development of this country, they are faced with myraids of challenges such as poverty, disease, ignorance, manipulations and cultural hindrances.
“Aside the fact that there are few professional role models, who providence had enabled to break-even, there are very limited opportunities for self improvement. Our environment is such that undermines youth creativity, energy and dynamism,” he said.
Bamidele emphasised that apart from the wide scale marginalisation of the youth in the political arena, the corporate world had appeared to be more indisposed to youth elements and young eggheads of promising corporate profile.
“This is evident in alarming rate of massive unemployment among our graduates and young school leavers. This, of course, places moral burden on our policy makets, politicians, captains of industry and the likes, who have benefited immensely from the Nigerian system but are now shying away from their responsibility of serving as the guiding lights to the youth of ths generation and engagig them in more meaningful productive and dignifying roles in the society. stressed.
“It’s the high time that government at all level to stop given their youth handout but teach them how to make the handout by investing on the youth for the growth and development of the nation,” he urged.
In his welcome address, the Chairperson, AU ECOSOCC, Dr. Tunji Ashaolu said the world can not be progressive without the effective and optimum harnessing of youth potentials.
On the importance of the AU ECOSOCC Youth submit, Ashaolu said “It’s an attempt to pulverized the golden aim of the mother organization of Africa, that is the African Union that the African Youths are celebrated.”
He called on all African Youth especially Nigerian Youth to remain resolute to their dreams and conquer the world.