A few months ago, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on International Youth Day 2021 said: “Young people are at the forefront of the struggle to build a better future for all”. He added that “the Covid -19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for the kind of transformational change they seek”, while urging young people to be “full partners in this effort”. In this regard, the young people, fully aware of what they want, expressed their feelings about their expectations at the dawn of the new year.
A student from the University of Port Harcourt, Nengi Emmanuel, hopes to see our country, Nigeria, have a balance and compete against other countries in the world. He envisions a reduction in the rate of corruption and crime in this country. “It’s a shame that young people are involved in some of these things because of poverty. I know young people can do something for themselves before they even graduate from college.
“We, as young people, should be really involved in agriculture. Our parents have a lot to do to encourage us in this regard. I do fish farming and poultry owned by my family. I started working there when I was in high school.
“Here in Nigeria, we import more than we export. Young people can stand up for food production. Those with similar interests can come together and work towards achieving food security in our country. There are so many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Nigeria that can help people achieve this. The government, on the other hand, should create more opportunities for young people to work. The government can also make machinery available on the farms, which will help with the various stages of production, such as planting and harvesting, this can help create a suitable workplace.
“For health, there was no proper awareness. We young people have the power of social media to conduct outreach programs online, we can give out information and follow the masses to make sure they are aware of the information. We can also move physically, we have the strength, we can cover more areas than the bigger ones, we can do vaccines. We can have health / medical centers where young people who are in the medical field can get into medical research and come out with vaccines that can prevent some of the diseases that we know. It’s not just Covid-19, we need to find malaria vaccines. “
A registered nurse said: Anozie Emmanuel Okechukwu, “I hope to enjoy my success in a safe environment. I also hope that Nigeria will solve poverty, insecurity and create jobs. When most young people finish their education, there is no job. The older generation is sitting on jobs. The government should provide apprenticeship programs to train young people for government jobs so that when older people retire, it is easy to replace them. When young people do not have employment opportunities, they will be forced to do bad things to survive, but the sane enter entrepreneurship to survive. Young people need the guidance of the older generation.
“In America, the young come under the wings of the elders of society. They have employment opportunities right from the schools. They have a lot of grants for young people especially this period of Covid when a lot of people have lost their jobs. The government gave “Stimulus Money” three times (approximately $ 1000). I know some NGOs have given food and money to Nigerians, it should be more than food. They should help the elderly, widows to start businesses and orphans to go to school.
In the area of agriculture, the Nigerian economy will be better off if the government invests seriously in this sector. They should cut back on imports and use our own natural resources to feed the nation. They must think about exporting and give young people the chance to take ownership of this area. It will make our economy stronger. For myself, even as a doctor, I can focus on the cattle, maybe the poultry farm and cattle ranching, where I can get processed meat, milk and cheese. The government should help young people to create avenues to own farms because we have the energy and we can do a lot, we cannot waste our strength on kidnappings and armed robberies.
“For the health aspect, this is my field. When most young people graduate from medicine, they prefer to go abroad. I don’t blame them because the doctors in Nigeria are not getting compensated. It encourages the brain drain. This is a problem because most of the best hands and heads are overseas. The government should work on young people, train them well so that they do not leave the country. I would like Nigeria to be like other countries where we could do major surgeries instead of people traveling overseas for health services. The Nigerian government should reduce the cost of health care, especially for the elderly. Seniors in the United States are paid $ 500 a month, which goes into their medicals and covers them. There should be a change. Government can start small and grow.
Entrepreneur Lilian Fubara is hoping to see Nigeria change for good. “I believe the future is bright because Nigeria is a great country. We have all the resources we need to do it. Jobs should be available for young people, even men and women are ready to work but no jobs. I hope to see good roads, constant electricity and better health care for everyone.
Agriculture is very good and important. The government should involve young people in this area to stimulate food production. As I know, many young people who farm in the Etche local government area. Even in Ogu town, young people practice fish farming and pigsty to survive. The government can develop all of this. As now, more and more people do not plant cassava, which is why garri is very expensive. If young people are encouraged to plant more cassava and other crops, the price of food will drop.
For me, I can plant cassava and vegetables, if I have the opportunity and the resources. I am in the hairdressing business. jobs don’t happen every day but it’s better than nothing. Regarding health care, the government needs to train more workers, especially the young people, I am one of the young people who have been trained to go around the areas of the local government to administer the vaccines for the vaccination of children. There is joy in us working four days 24 hours a day whenever there is a vaccination, but we are not encouraged ”.
By: Ibinabo Ogolo